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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 342-346

Low uptake of periodic health examinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013

1 Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
2 Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al Murabba, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ali H Mokdad
Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98121
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Source of Support: This study was financially supported by a grant from the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia., Conflict of Interest: The salaries of the authors from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) were fully or partially paid through a grant from the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The MOH managed the data collection for this study.

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.161313

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Introduction: It is unknown whether Saudis receive health examinations periodically. To inform health authorities on the health-seeking behavior of the Saudi population, we investigated patterns of periodic health examination (PHE) use by Saudis. Materials and Methods: We conducted a nationally representative multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older on sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare utilization, and self-reported chronic conditions. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure associations between PHE and sociodemographic, behavioral, and health characteristics. Results: Between April and June 2013, a total of 12,000 households were contacted, and 10,735 participants completed the survey (response rate of 89.4%). Among participants, 2542 (22.9%), representing more than 2.7 million Saudis aged 15 years or older, received a PHE during the past 2 years. Moreover, 7463 (73.5%) participants, representing 9.1 million Saudis, visited a healthcare setting in the past 2 years due to illness or injury. The likelihood of receiving a PHE in the past 2 years increased with age, education, being married, consumption of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, diagnoses of prediabetes, diabetes, or hypercholesterolemia, and a visit to a healthcare setting within the last 2 years due to an illness or an injury. Discussion: This is the first national study to investigate the use of PHE in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where healthcare is freely available. Few Saudis seek preventive healthcare and most healthcare visits are for injuries or sickness. KSA may reduce its health expenditures by routinizing PHE and detecting chronic conditions at early stages.

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