Diabetic patients in Saudi Arabia: The evaluation of glycemic control measures based on emergency department utilization and the percentages of adherence to the recommended follow-ups for microvascular complications

Saad M. Alshareef, Abdulrahman Y. Aldayel, Mujahed A. AlKhathlan, Khalid O. Alduaij, Fahad G. Alshareef, Mohammed E. Al-Harthi, Abdulaziz A. Aldayel, Asem M. Shadid, Abdulmajeed B. Dahmash


Objectives: To determine the association between emergency department (ED) visits, glycemic control and the quality of preventive diabetes care among diabetic patients in a Saudi community.


Methods: This study was an observational, cross-sectional study that collected data through interview-based surveys between February and April 2017. Data were collected from 530 diabetic patients in the diabetes clinics at King Saud Medical City, the tertiary center of Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 


Results: This study found statistically significant relationships (p less than 0.05) between ED visits and patient age, the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and education level. Emergency department visits increased by 43% for each unit of increase in HbA1c (odds ratio [OR]=1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.26-1.62). Graduating from high school decreased the odds of visiting the ED by 43% (OR=0.57, 95% CI=0.34-0.94). Most of the participants were not followed for possible microvascular complications; the majority did not visit nephrology (96.2%), ophthalmology (78.3%) and neurology (97.9%) clinics within the 12 months prior to the interviews.


Conclusion: Emergency department visits can indicate poor glycemic control in diabetic patients. Additionally, the current practices of preventive diabetes care in Saudi Arabia are not sufficient, according to the diabetic standards of care recommended by the American Diabetes Association. 

Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (3): 271-276
doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.3.23968

How to cite this article:
Alshareef SM, Aldayel AY, AlKhathlan MA, Alduaij KO, Alshareef FG, Al-Harthi ME, et al. Diabetic patients in Saudi Arabia: The evaluation of glycemic control measures based on emergency department utilization and the percentages of adherence to the recommended follow-ups for microvascular complications. Saudi Med J. 2019 Mar;40(3):271-276. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.3.23968.



Diabetes mellites; Emergency department; Microvascular complications; HbA1c; Glycaemic control

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