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Abstract

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, 2,542 (22.9%), representing more than 2.7 million Saudis aged 15 years or older, received a PHE during the past two years. Moreover, 7,463 (73.5%) participants, representing 9.1 million Saudis, visited a healthcare setting in the past two years due to illness or injury. The likelihood of receiving a PHE in the past two 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 two 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.

Citation: 

El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, Daoud F, AlMazroa MA, Al Saeedi M, Memish ZA, Basulaiman M, Al Rabeeah AA, Mokdad AH. Low uptake of periodic health examinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 2015; 4(3):342-346. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.161313.