Survey of the Knowledge and Attitude of Physicians Toward the Management of Diabetes Mellitus during Ramadan

Document Type : Research Paper


Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE


Ramadan fasting has been a major concern among researchers considering the theoretically imposed risk on patients with diabetes mellitus due to prolonged fasting. Studies indicate that the knowledge and practices of physicians do not comply with the proposed recommendations in this regard in many cases. This study aimed to explore the viewpoints and attitudes of physicians toward the management of diabetes mellitus regarding to Ramadan fasting. In addition, we assessed the knowledge and compliance of physicians with available recommendations regarding the management of diabetes mellitus in Ramadan. According to the results, Ninety five present of the physicians (n=862) believed the type of diabetes to be “important” or “very important” in decision-making for Ramadan fasting. Control of diabetes before Ramadan was noted as “important” or “very important” by 95% of the physicians (n=848). Moreover, the majority of respondents emphasized on the pivotal role of self-monitoring of blood glucose in the management of patients receiving insulin or sulphonylureas (SUs), and to a lesser extend in cases treated with other oral hypoglycemic agents than SUs. Among the participants, 63.8% (n=397) confirmed the availability of Ramadan-focused educational programs for their patients, whereas thirty six present (n=225) mentioned the absence of such programs. According to the results of this study, it is crucial to raise the awareness of patients and physicians about the importance of Ramadan fasting through structured educational interventions in order to reduce the health risks associated with fasting in diabetic patients. Therefore, it is recommended that simplified guidelines and educational materials be dispensed for healthcare providers for related training programs before Ramadan.


  1. The future of world religions: population growth projections, 2010-2050. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life. Available at: URL:; 2015.
  2. Salti I, Bénard E, Detournay B, Bianchi-Biscay M, Le Brigand C, Voinet C, et al. A population-based study of diabetes and its characteristics during the fasting month of Ramadan in 13 countries: results of the epidemiology of diabetes and Ramadan 1422/2001 (EPIDIAR) study. Diabetes Care. 2004; 27(10):2306-11.
  3. Bravis V, Hui E, Salih S, Mehar S, Hassanein M, Devendra D. Ramadan Education and Awareness in Diabetes (READ) programme for Muslims with Type 2 diabetes who fast during Ramadan. Diabet Med. 2010; 27(3):327-31.
  4. Ahmedani MY, Haque MS, Basit A, Fawwad A, Alvi SF. Ramadan prospective diabetes study: the role of drug dosage and timing alteration, active glucose monitoring and patient education. Diabet Med. 2011; 29(6):709-15.
  5. Babineaux SM, Toaima D, Boye KS, Zagar A, Tahbaz A, Jabbar A, et al. Multi-country retrospective observational study of the management and outcomes of patients with Type 2 diabetes during Ramadan in 2010 (CREED). Diabet Med. 2015; 32(6):819-28.
  6. Al-Arouj M, Assaad-Khalil S, Buse J, Fahdil I, Fahmy M, Hafez S, et al. Recommendations for management of diabetes during Ramadan: update 2010. Diabetes Care. 2010; 33(8):1895-902.
  7. Gaborit B, Dutour O, Ronsin O, Atlan C, Darmon P, Gharsalli R, et al. Ramadan fasting with diabetes: an interview study of inpatients' and general practitioners' attitudes in the South of France. Diabetes Metab. 2011; 37(5):395-402.