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Assessment of Diabetes and its Risk Factors Knowledge in AUS students

Hannan, Hadia
A Master of Science thesis in Biomedical Engineering by Hadia Hannan entitled, “Assessment of Diabetes and its Risk Factors Knowledge in AUS students”, submitted in December 2022. Thesis advisor is Dr. Abdulrahim Shamayleh and thesis co-advisor is Dr. Hussam Alshraideh. Soft copy is available (Thesis, Completion Certificate, Approval Signatures, and AUS Archives Consent Form).
The prevalence of diabetes has been rising globally at an alarming rate. In addition to the prominent role of genetic factors, global changes in people's living standards over the last few years, including sedentary lifestyles, widespread adoption of westernized diet, and fast-food popularity across the regions, have led to an increase in diabetes incidence. This study aims to determine the diabetes prevalence, diabetes knowledge and its risk factors among AUS students. Such an insight will help to understand the health status of the youth in the region. Blood sugar level of participants was obtained using random blood glucose test. AusDiab questionnaire was used to assess students’ knowledge of diabetes, its risk factors and lifestyle habits. Moreover, a systematic literature review on the previous surveys and research on the prevalence of diabetes and health knowledge in the region was studied and compared. There is clearly a dearth of clinical research on diabetes among the university population. This is the first paper to comprehensively analyze health related aspects and relate it to diabetes in the U.A.E. The prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes was found to be 2.37% and 1.48% respectively. There is a significant knowledge gap of diabetes among students. Around 92% of the participants stated that they did not attend any diabetes information seminar. Approximately 75% of the diabetic participants had insufficient knowledge of food and nutrition. Food practice and nutrition knowledge was poor in this population. Around 46% of the participants were in the sedentary category. Even though many students are covered by health insurance, they have poor utilization of health services. Results displayed a lower mean locus of control, indicating internal locus of control for the participants. Approximately 49% of participants are at an increased risk or high risk of acquiring diabetes in their lifetime based on their high BMI and waist circumference. These health challenges can have a significant impact on their social and academic life, as well as the welfare of society in general. Recommendations for better diabetes and health management are provided that will help healthcare professionals, government, and scholars involved in the UAE context.
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