Objective: To determine the prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus among 0-19 years old Saudi children and adolescents.
Methods: A nationwide Saudi Arabian project was conducted in the years 2001-2007 with the objective of establishing national growth charts, and defining the prevalence of some chronic childhood diseases such as diabetes mellitus. The 14,000 households were randomly selected based on a recent population statistic. The questionnaire used included demographic data and evidence of diabetes mellitus. The prevalence was estimated and expressed per 100,000. Breakdown of this figure per age and region was carried out.
Results: In the 11,874 out of the 14,000 84.9% selected households, 45,682 children and adolescents were surveyed. Fifty children and adolescents were identified to have type 1 diabetes mellitus with a prevalence rate of 109.5 per 100,000. The male to female ratio was almost equal (26 males and 24 females). The distribution of prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus by region shows that the highest was 162 in the central region, and the lowest was 48 in the eastern region. Children and adolescents were also grouped by age into 5-6 (prevalence 100), 7-12 (prevalence 109), 13-16 (prevalence 243), and 17-18 (prevalence 150).
Conclusion: We conclude that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabian children and adolescents is 109.5 per 100,000.