Sidra Medicine Diabetes Research to Help Establish National Diabetes Registry in Qatar


QF Entity focuses on prevention and disease management in support of World Diabetes Day

13 November 2022, Doha, Qatar – Researchers and clinicians at Sidra Medicine have conducted comprehensive studies related to the epidemiology, genetic landscape and causes of diabetes in Qatar. The studies will pave the way for the implementation of present and future therapies including precision medicine solutions to address different forms of diabetes affecting children and young people.

One of the studies, published in The Journal of Diabetes Investigation and funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) was the first comprehensive study related to the incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Qatar. Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic condition with hyperglycemia resulting from inadequate production of insulin or resistance to insulin action.

Prof. Khalid Hussain

Prof. Khalid Hussain, Division Chief of Endocrinology at Sidra Medicine “The global burden of diabetes mellitus is rapidly increasing, with an estimated average increase of 3 to 4 per cent in prevalence every year. This study is the first of its kind in the MENA region to systematically recruit every child with diabetes mellitus in Qatar, from birth to 18 years, and accurately classify the underlying biochemical and genetic causes in each child. It found a high incidence and prevalence of both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in children in Qatar; with Qatar having the fourth highest incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus in children after Finland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia.”

“The data collected from the study will form the basis for establishing the national diabetes registry for children in Qatar. It will provide a platform for undertaking further studies that will aim at understanding why diabetes is so common. This signifies Sidra Medicine’s commitment to enhancing present treatment as well as the development of precision medicine strategies and solutions to help children with all types of diabetes in Qatar,” continued Prof. Hussain.

Another study in collaboration with Qatar Genome Programme (QGP) and Qatar Biobank (also funded by QNRF), aims to develop the best Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) algorithm to predict and prevent type 2 diabetes complications in diabetic patients.

A PRS is a number that defines the level of risk a person has to develop a disease or its complications over a defined period. Using a genetic based predictive PRS model can stratify type 2 diabetes patients from those who are healthy or unaffected by the disease and comparing it to those who are at risk of developing kidney and cardiovascular complications.

Dr. Ammira Akil

Dr. Ammira Al-Shabeeb Akil, Principal Investigator and the head of the diabetes prevention research team at Sidra Medicine said: “The clinical implications of the study will allow the early identification and follow-up of patients with type 2 diabetes who are at risk of developing complications. This will enable targeted intervention including primary prevention for such patients. Not only will this have a substantial impact on the management of type 2 diabetes patients, it will also have a significant impact on health care costs by not over-treating patients at low risk while preventing complications in those susceptible to developing costly complications such as kidney hemodialysis.”

Sidra Medicine is in partnership with QNRF, QGP, Qatar Biobank, Qatar Diabetes Association and several other local and international entities in its diabetes research programs.