Background: The prevalence of diabetes in Saudi Arabia has increased dramatically during the last decades. This increase has been attributed to significant changes in cultural and socio-economic factors.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine prevalence of diabetes and its relation with age and sex in Turaif city, northern Saudi Arabia. 

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out during the academic year 2016-2017 over a period of 6 months (October 01, 2016 to March 30, 2017). A total of 1,287 Saudi national individuals of both sexes, aged from 1 year to more than 65 years were included in the study. Data were collected by a predesigned questionnaire covering medical history of diabetes, age and sex. 

Results: Mean age (± SD) was 24.29 (±13.96) years with the minimum age at 1 year and the maximum age at 93 years, male to female ratio was 42.5% to 57.5%. The total prevalence of DM among the studied population was 5.8% and pre-diabetic cases were 6.8%. There were significant relationships between age/sex, and the occurrence of diabetes among the studied population (p<0.05).

Conclusions: The total prevalence rate of DM among the studied population of Turaif city, northern Saudi Arabia was 5.8% and pre-diabetic cases were 6.8%. Awareness campaigns and prevention programs about diabetes should be instituted and the existing ones must be strengthened. Adequate commitment from the Ministry of Health is also advocated.



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