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Publication date: 
October 29, 2015


We conducted a large national survey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2013. We report on the health status of Saudi women and their health challenges.


A total of 10,735 participants, including 5,482 women, completed the survey and were invited to local health clinics for biomedical exams.


About 33.5% of women were obese and 28.0% were overweight. Hypertension was higher among women who were separated, divorced, or widowed [adjusted odds ratios (AOR) = 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–2.4], were obese (AOR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.6–3.0), and had never received a routine medical exam or last received one prior to the last 2 years (AOR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.3–2.4). Older women (AOR = 1.0; 95% CI: 1.0–1.1) and those who were separated, divorced, or widowed (AOR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1–3.3) were more likely to be diabetics. A large proportion of diabetic women were undiagnosed (48.4%), and 27.8% of those receiving treatment had uncontrolled diabetes.


Our study revealed that women need to improve their health behaviors in order to reduce the burden of chronic diseases in the Kingdom. Saudi women need to be involved in the design and implementation of disease prevention and health promotion programs.


Daoud F, El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, AlMazroa MA, Al Saeedi M, Nooh RM, Al Rayess Z, Al-Raddadi RM, Memish ZA, Basulaiman M, Al Rabeeah AA, Mokdad AH. The health status of Saudi women: findings from a national survey. Journal of Public Health. 2015 Oct 29. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv157.