Suzan Sayegh


3 Physical Activity Levels in Qatar: A Pedometer-Based Assessment

Authors: Suzan Sayegh, Izzeldin Ibrahim, Mercia Van Der Walt, Mohamed Al-Kuwari


Background: Walking is the most common form of physical activity which can promote a healthy well-being among people of different age groups. In this regard, pedometers are becoming more popular within research and are considered useful tools in monitoring physical activity levels based on individuals’ daily steps. A value of ˂5,000 steps/day is identified as a sedentary lifestyle index where individuals are physically inactive. Those achieving 5,000-7,499 steps/day have a low active lifestyle as they do not meet the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations. Moreover, individuals achieving ≥7,500 steps/day are classified as physically active. The objective of this study is to assess the physical activity levels of adult population in Qatar through a pedometer-based program over a one-year period. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis, as part of a longitudinal study, was carried out over one year to assess the daily step count. “Step into Health” is a community-based program launched by Aspire as an approach for the purpose of improving physical activity across the population of Qatar. The program involves distribution of pedometers to registered members which is supported by a self-monitoring online account and linked to a web database. Daily habitual physical activity (daily total step count) was assessed through Omron HJ-324U pedometer. Analyses were done on data extracted from the web database. Results: A total of 1,988 members were included in this study (males: n=1,143, 57%; females: n=845, 43%). Average age was 37.8±10.9 years distributed as 60% of age between age 25-54 (n=1,186), 27% of age 45-64 (n=546), and 13% of age 18-24 years (n=256). Majority were non-Qataris, 81% (n=1,609) compared with 19% of the Qatari nationality (n=379). Average body mass index (BMI) was 27.8±6.1 (kg/m2) where most of them (41%, n=809) were found to be overweight, between 25-30 kg/m2. Total average step count was 5,469±3,884. Majority were found to be sedentary (n=1110, 55.8%). Middle aged individuals were more active than the other two age groups. Males were seen as more active than females. Those who were less active had a higher BMI. Older individuals were more active. There was a variation in the physical activity level throughout the year period. Conclusion: It is essential to further develop the available intervention programs and increase their physical activity behavior. Planning such physical activity interventions for female population should involve aspects such as time, environmental variables and aerobic steps.

Keywords: Physical Activity, adults, pedometer, step-count

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2 Three Year Pedometer Based Physical Activity Intervention of the Adult Population in Qatar

Authors: Suzan Sayegh, Mercia I. Van Der Walt, Izzeldin E. L. J. Ibrahim, Mohamed G. Al-Kuwari, Manaf Kamil


Background: Increased physical activity is associated with improvements in health conditions. Walking is recognized as an easy form of physical activity and a strategy used in health promotion. Step into Health (SIH), a national community program, was established in Qatar to support physical activity promotion through the monitoring of step counts. This study aims to assess the physical activity levels of the adult population in Qatar through a pedometer-based community program over a three-year-period. Methodology: This cross-sectional longitudinal study was conducted between from January 2013 and December 2015 based on daily step counts. A total of 15,947 adults (8,551 males and 7,396 females), from different nationalities enrolled in the program and aged 18 to 64, are included. The program involves free distribution of pedometers to members who voluntarily choose to register. It is also supported by a self-monitoring online account and linked to a web-database. All members are informed about the 10,000 steps/day target and automated emails as well as text messages are sent as reminders to upload data. Daily step counts were measured through the Omron HJ-324U pedometer (Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd., Japan). Analyses are done on the data extracted from the web-database. Results: Daily average step count for the overall community increased from 4,830 steps/day (2013) to 6,124 steps /day (2015). This increase was also observed within the three age categories (18–30), (31-45) and (>45) years. Average steps per day were found to be more among males compared with females in each of the aforementioned age groups. Moreover, males and females in the age group (>45 years) show the highest average step count with 7,010 steps/day and 5,564 steps/day respectively. The 21% increase in overall step count throughout the study period is associated with well-resourced program and ongoing impact in smaller communities such as workplaces and universities, a step in the right direction. However, the average step count of 6,124 steps/day in the third year is still classified as the low active category. Although the program showed an increase step count we found, 33% of the study population are low active, 35 % are sedentary with only 32% being active. Conclusion: This study indicates that the pedometer-based intervention was effective in increasing the daily physical activity of participants. However, alternative approaches need to be incorporated within the program to educate and encourage the community to meet the physical activity recommendations in relation to step count.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Qatar, pedometer, step count

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1 The Global Relationship between the Prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus and Incidence of Tuberculosis: 2000-2012

Authors: Alaa Badawi, Suzan Sayegh, Mohamed Sallam, Eman Sadoun, Mohamed Al-Thani, Muhammad W. Alam, Paul Arora


Background: The dual burden of tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes mellitus (DM) has increased over the past decade with DM prevalence increasing in countries already afflicted with a high burden of TB. The coexistence of the two conditions presents a serious threat to global public health. Objective: The present study examines the global relationship between the prevalence of DM and the incidence of TB to evaluate their coexistence worldwide and their contribution to one another. Methods: This is an ecological longitudinal study covering the period between years 2000 to 2012. We utilized data from the WHO and World Bank sources and International Diabetes Federation to estimate prevalence of DM (%) and the incidence of TB (per 100,000). Measures of central tendency and dispersion as well as the harmonic mean and linear regression were used for different WHO regions. The association between DM prevalence and TB incidence was examined by quartile of DM prevalence. Results: The worldwide average (±S.D.) prevalence of DM within the study period was 6.6±3.8% whereas TB incidence was 135.0±190.5 per 100,000. DM prevalence was highest in the Eastern Mediterranean (8.3±4.1) and West Pacific (8.2±5.6) regions and lowest in the Africa (3.5±2.6). TB incidence was highest in Africa (313.1±275.9 per 100,000) and South-East Asia (216.7±124.9) and lowest in the European (46.5±68.6) and American (47.2±52.9) regions. Only countries with high DM prevalence (>7.6%) showed a significant positive association with TB incidence (r=0.17, p=0.013). Conclusion: A positive association between DM and TB may exist in some – but not all – world regions, a dual burden that necessitates identifying the nature of this coexistence to assist in developing public health approaches that curb their rising burden.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, diabetes mellitus, disease burden, global association

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