Article Text


Clinical profiles, comorbidities and complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus in patients from United Arab Emirates
  1. Herbert F Jelinek1,2,
  2. Wael M Osman3,
  3. Ahsan H Khandoker4,
  4. Kinda Khalaf4,
  5. Sungmun Lee4,
  6. Wael Almahmeed5,6,
  7. Habiba S Alsafar3,4
  1. 1School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia
  2. 2Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  3. 3Khalifa University Center of Biotechnology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  4. 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  5. 5Institute of Cardiac Science, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  6. 6Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  1. Correspondence to Dr Habiba S Alsafar; habiba.alsafar{at}


Objective To assess clinical profiles of patients with type 2 diabetes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including patterns, frequencies, and risk factors of microvascular and macrovascular complications.

Research design and methods Four hundred and ninety patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled from two major hospitals in Abu Dhabi. The presence of microvascular and macrovascular complications was assessed using logistic regression, and demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected. Significance was set at p<0.05.

Results Hypertension (83.40%), obesity (90.49%) and dyslipidemia (93.43%) were common type 2 diabetes comorbidities. Most of the patients had relatively poor glycemic control and presented with multiple complications (83.47% of patients had one or more complication), with frequent renal involvement. The most frequent complication was retinopathy (13.26%). However, the pattern of complications varied based on age, where in patients <65 years, a single pattern presented, usually retinopathy, while multiple complications was typically seen in patients >65 years old. Low estimated glomerular filtration rate in combination with disease duration was the most significant risk factor in the development of a diabetic-associated complication especially for coronary artery disease, whereas age, lipid values and waist circumference were significantly associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy.

Conclusions Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the UAE frequently present with comorbidities and complications. Renal disease was found to be the most common comorbidity, while retinopathy was noted as the most common diabetic complication. This emphasizes the need for screening and prevention program toward early, asymptomatic identification of comorbidities and commence treatment, especially for longer disease duration.

  • type 2 diabetes
  • United Arab Emirates
  • comorbidities
  • complications
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from


  • Contributors HSA obtained the fund for this study. HSA and HFJ have designed the study. WMO analyzed the data and prepared the manuscript. HFJ, AHK, KK, and SL reviewed/edited the manuscript and contributed to the discussion and reviewed/edited the manuscript. WA provided assistance in patients recruitment and clinical data collection.

  • Funding This study was supported by research incentive funds from Khalifa University Internal Research Fund Level 2 granted to Dr Habiba Al Safar.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The Institutional Ethics Committee of Mafraq and Shaikh Khalifa Medical Centre hospitals (REC-04062014 and R292, respectively).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.