KSA has high rate of cystic fibrosis

KSA has high rate of cystic fibrosis
Updated 29 January 2014

KSA has high rate of cystic fibrosis

KSA has high rate of cystic fibrosis

Saudi Arabia has the largest cystic fibrosis population in the Gulf due to consanguineous marriages.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder characterized by difficulty in breathing, lung and sinus infections, poor growth and infertility. It requires treatment with antibiotics and other medications.
According to research conducted by the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, the Kingdom has the largest cystic fibrosis population in the Gulf region in comparison to other GCC and Middle Eastern countries. The reason behind the high occurrence of the disease is due to the prevailing custom of marrying within families and relatives. The upcoming Arab Health Congress 2014 will focus on the inherited disease, which is believed to be frequently misdiagnosed.
Dr. Yazan Said, a consultant at King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, will give a lecture on symptoms and treatment of cystic fibrosis at the health conference.
Experts describe cystic fibrosis as a progressive disease that leads to organ damage and death. The disease frequently causes pancreatic dysfunction, both extrinsic (leading to malabsorption and growth failure) and intrinsic damage (leading to cystic fibrosis-related diabetes mellitus). The illness also leads to infertility in most males and sub-fertility in females.
The specialist said, “Cystic fibrosis remains under-diagnosed in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Many patients are treated recurrently with chest infections, and an asthma-like disease.”
He said, “Some cystic fibrosis mutations cause mild and atypical disease that affects one or more organs, which makes it harder to be diagnosed. Low awareness and experience with the disease explain some of the under or delayed diagnosis, but more importantly the lack of diagnostic tools and experienced technicians in many health care facilities in our region can be a major cause for delayed or missed diagnosis.”
Many Western countries have adopted newborn cystic fibrosis screening with the objective of early diagnosis and intervention as well as delaying organ damage.