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Alanazi, Alkhamis, Aljarbaa, Almutiri, Meraj, and Waqas: A study of risk factors for diabetes and hypertension among expatriate workers in Majmaah City

Introduction: Non-communicable diseases are increasing rapidly in developed and developing countries. One of the neglected populations is the expatriate community residing in Saudi Arabia. The millions of expatriate workers residing in this country are prone to many common health problem, especially non-communicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

Objectives: To study the risk factors associated with diabetes mellitus and hypertension among the immigrant workers.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional observational pilot study among expatriate workers residing in Majmaah City, Saudi Arabia. A total sample size of 120 expatriates was included in the study through convenience sampling from a residential compound of a construction company. The study population was asked to fill a pretested, structured and close-ended questionnaire in the presence of the interviewer. In addition, vitals of the study group were taken to assess the blood pressure and body mass index, including waist measurement.

Results: The analysis revealed that expatriates were at an increased risk of acquiring diabetes mellitus and hypertension. This showed in their having a better lifestyle and diet while at the same time having very little knowledge about the disease and its associated risk factors. For the population studied, 95.5% ate all types of food without any consideration, 21.7% of them were above the normal weight range and 62.5% had, on average, less than 6 hours sleep per day.

Conclusions: An effort should be made to educate the expatriate workers about the risk factors associated with diabetes mellitus and hypertension so that they have a more productive life. Furthermore, they should be told about diabetes mellitus and hypertension and their complications which can decrease the quality and duration of life.

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