Childhood and adolescent diabetes mellitus in Arabs residing in the United Arab Emirates

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2002 Jan;55(1):29-33. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8227(01)00267-4.


In 9 years (1990-1998), 40 Arab patients between the ages of 0 and 18 years had newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) at the Al-Ain hospital, United Arab Emirates (UAE). In this cohort, 35 patients had Type 1 DM while the remaining five patients had features of early onset Type 2 DM. For Type 1 DM patients, the mean age at diagnosis of was 9.2+/-4.1 years. At presentation, their mean plasma glucose was 27.6+/-11/mmol with 28 (80%) patients having diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), both being much higher than generally reported in the West. The mean insulin requirement increased from 0.84+/-0.27 U/kg per 24 h (0-9-year group) to 1.02+/-0.33 U/kg per 24 h (10-18-year group), P=0.055. The home glucose monitoring and the glycaemic control of these Type 1 DM patients were sub-optimal with 28% of patients having recurrence of DKA. Among the Type 2 DM patients, four (80%) were obese with a positive family history of Type 2 DM. All of them initially responded to diet and oral hypoglycaemic drugs. Public education about DM in childhood and prevention of adolescent obesity remain major public health challenges in the UAE.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Arabs / genetics*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Nuclear Family
  • United Arab Emirates / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone