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Saudi Med J. 2010 Apr;31(4):413-8.

Incidence trends of childhood type 1 diabetes in eastern Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Services Division, Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organization, Dhahran Health Center, PO Box 2562, Dhahran 31311, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To assess the epidemiology and incidence rate of type 1 diabetes in children <15 years of age in a subpopulation in the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).


This is a subpopulation-based observational incidence study. Admission dates, diagnosis, age, and gender were collected for all Saudi children <15 years of age with new onset type 1 diabetes that received medical care at the Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organization, Dhahran Health Center, Dhahran, KSA during the period 1990-2007. The case ascertainment rate was estimated to be 100%.


There were 438 patients diagnosed during the study period. The average incidence rate was 27.52/100,000/year (95% CI: 26.72-28.32), increasing from 18.05/100,000/year in the first 9 years of the study period to 36.99/100,000/year in the last 9 years. Twenty-one percent of patients were <5 years of age, with no significant difference in the rate of increase in the incidence rate of this age group compared to the older age groups. Of the total patients, 55% were females, and 40% presented with diabetic ketoacidosis.


The incidence rate of childhood type 1 diabetes increased alarmingly over the past 18 years in our study population. A Kingdom-wide diabetes registry is essential to study the epidemiology of this disease in the whole country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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