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Diabetes risk score in the United Arab Emirates: a screening tool for the early detection of type 2 diabetes mellitus
  1. Nabil Sulaiman1,
  2. Ibrahim Mahmoud1,
  3. Amal Hussein1,
  4. Salah Elbadawi2,
  5. Salah Abusnana1,3,
  6. Paul Zimmet4,
  7. Jonathan Shaw5
  1. 1 College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  2. 2 Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  3. 3 Rashid Center for Diabetes and Research, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
  4. 4 Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ibrahim Mahmoud; tabat214{at}


Objective The objective of this study was to develop a simple non-invasive risk score, specific to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens, to identify individuals at increased risk of having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Research design and methods A retrospective analysis of the UAE National Diabetes and Lifestyle data was conducted. The data included demographic and anthropometric measurements, and fasting blood glucose. Univariate analyses were used to identify the risk factors for diabetes. The risk score was developed for UAE citizens using a stepwise forward regression model.

Results A total of 872 UAE citizens were studied. The overall prevalence of diabetes in the UAE adult citizens in the Northern Emirates was 25.1%. The significant risk factors identified for diabetes were age (≥35 years), a family history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, body mass index ≥30.0 and waist-to-hip ratio ≥0.90 for males and ≥0.85 for females. The performance of the model was moderate in terms of sensitivity (75.4%, 95% CI 68.3 to 81.7) and specificity (70%, 95% CI 65.8 to 73.9). The area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve was 0.82 (95% CI 0.78 to 0.86).

Conclusions A simple, non-invasive risk score model was developed to help to identify those at high risk of having diabetes among UAE citizens. This score could contribute to the efficient and less expensive earlier detection of diabetes in this high-risk population.

  • epidemiology
  • risk analysis
  • prevention

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  • Contributors NS, JS, PZ, SA, AH and SE planned and designed this study. IM performed data management and data analysis and all authors interpreted the data. All authors drafted the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript. PZ and JS revised the paper critically for important intellectual content.

  • Funding This work was supported by Ministry of Health and Prevention, University of Sharjah and Sanofi (grant number 120301).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval University of Sharjah and the Ministry of Health Research Ethics Committee.

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

  • Data sharing statement Data from the UAE National Diabetes and Lifestyle Study can be obtained by writing a proposal to Professor Nabil Sulaiman.

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