Annals of Thoracic Medicine
: 2006  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76--80

Prevalence of respiratory diseases in hospitalized patients in Saudi Arabia: A 5 years study 1996-2000

Omer S Alamoudi 
 Dept. of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Omer S Alamoudi
Dept of Medicine, KAUH, P. O. Box No. 80215, Jeddah - 21589
Saudi Arabia


OBJECTIVES: 1) To determine the prevalence of respiratory diseases and the length of stay among hospitalized patients with respiratory disorders 2) To detect the medical disorders commonly associated with respiratory diseases. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review was done for 810 patients hospitalized with respiratory diseases in King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, over 5 years (January 1996 to December 2000). A special form was used to collect information from patient medical records including demographic data (such as age, sex and nationality), discharge diagnosis with other associated diseases and length of stay during hospitalization. RESULTS: Fifty-five percent of patients were males and 56.3% were Saudis. The mostly affected age group was 46-65 years (41.8%). Asthma (38.6%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (17.2%), pneumonia (11.5%), lung cancer (8.4%) and tuberculosis (TB) (7.2%) had the highest prevalence among hospitalized patients. Asthma was higher among females (63.3%) than males (36.7%). In contrast, lung cancer, COPD and TB were higher among males (88.2, 66.9 and 74.1%) than females (11.8, 33.1 and 25.9%) respectively ( P <0.001). The mostly affected age groups among asthma and TB were 26-45 years and 46-65 years respectively, while the mostly affected age group in lung cancer and COPD patients was 46-65 years ( P <0.001). Diabetes mellitus (22.8%) and hypertension (15.1%) were the most prevalent associated diseases. In 75% of the patients, the length of stay ranged from 1-7 and 8-14 days. CONCLUSION: Asthma, COPD and pneumonia were the leading causes of hospitalization among patients with respiratory disorders, while diabetes and hypertension were the most commonly associated diseases.

How to cite this article:
Alamoudi OS. Prevalence of respiratory diseases in hospitalized patients in Saudi Arabia: A 5 years study 1996-2000.Ann Thorac Med 2006;1:76-80

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Alamoudi OS. Prevalence of respiratory diseases in hospitalized patients in Saudi Arabia: A 5 years study 1996-2000. Ann Thorac Med [serial online] 2006 [cited 2020 Oct 20 ];1:76-80
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Full Text

Respiratory disease has a major effect on morbidity and mortality at all ages.Chronic respiratory diseases represent a public health challenge in both industrialized and developing countries because of their frequency and economic impact.[1],[2] The prevalence of respiratory diseases in developing countries is unknown. Respiratory diseases were the third leading cause of hospitalization and death, after cardiovascular disease and cancer among Canadians in 1998-1999.[3] Among respiratory diseases, lung cancer, influenza, pneumonia, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were the primary diagnosis for 13% of men and 11% for women in all hospitalizations.[3] In the United Kingdom (UK), respiratory diseases were responsible for 6.5% of all hospital admissions in 1991-1992.[4] In the United States, respiratory diseases were the fourth leading cause of disabilities among persons aged 15 years or older in 1991-1992.[5] In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the prevalence and the pattern of respiratory diseases in our patients, whether hospitalized or visiting outpatients' clinics either in the private or in the governmental hospitals, is unknown. Therefore, the objectives of this study were-to determine the most prevalent respiratory disorders among patients hospitalized with respiratory diseases; to assess which medical disorders were commonly associated with respiratory diseases; to correlate the distribution of respiratory diseases among hospitalized patients by age, sex and nationality; and to assess the mean length of stay in hospital with different respiratory diseases.

 Materials and Methods

Study setting and population

A retrospective record review was done for all patients hospitalized and diagnosed with respiratory disorder in the medical ward of the King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) over a 5-year period starting from January 1996 up to the end of December 2000. KAUH is a central teaching hospital serving the population of the western region of the KSA with total capacity of 800 beds, 250 of which are allocated for the medical ward.

Data collection

A structured abstract form was used to collect information from patients' medical records, including demographic data (such as age, sex and nationality), discharge diagnosis with other associated diseases and the length of stay during hospitalization.

Statistical analysis

Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS package (Release 10.01, 1999, Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive statistics were performed as appropriate, including frequencies for variables, mean standard deviation and cross tabulations. Statistical significance was set at P P P P per se may or may not increase the incidence of diabetes and hypertension in the affected patient. However, the high prevalence of these diseases in our community could explain this association. Therefore, pulmonologists should be able to manage diabetes and hypertension in patients with respiratory disorders and should be aware of drugs that can be used safely in these settings . In the KSA and many developing countries, the absence of developed medical record departments even in large hospitals has hindered the analysis of discharges for important epidemiological information such as age, sex, nationality, etc. Therefore, the pattern of different diseases in general and respiratory disorders in particular was not available. This lapse was mainly due to reasons such as incomplete patients' records, shortage of statistical staff, lack of facilities and possibly, lack of supervision at all levels. Therefore, the importance of this study is due to the fact that it is the first to determine the pattern of respiratory diseases in a section of our patients over 5 years of hospitalization. However, it has some limitations - for example, it was a retrospective study in which some common diseases such as pleural effusion, bronchiectasis, ILD and pulmonary embolism were underestimated as they may have been overlooked with other principal diagnoses. In conclusion, though respiratory diseases are common problems worldwide, their prevalence, particularly in developing countries, is deficient. Such epidemiological studies are very important for clinicians and strategic health planners to improve the quality of medical management, especially in the presence of limited financial resources. Therefore, every effort should be made to improve the functioning of medical record departments.


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