1414 Analysis of PubMed- indexed asthma research from the arab world in the last ten years

Monday, 6 December 2010

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify the gaps in asthma research in the Arab world and suggest recommendations for untapped areas. Hence we analyzed ten- years PubMed- indexed publications related to bronchial asthma, produced by authors affiliated to the Arab countries.

METHODS: A Medline search was performed on 1st  July 2010 to have the total number of citation from the 22 Arab countries during the ten years prior to the search. Another search in the MeSH database of the Medline for citations under “asthma” OR “ bronchial asthma” category was followed. The two search strategies were then combined by “AND” and inspected for validation.   The search was then saved in Medline format text file, which was converted into Excel file and captured as a new database query via SPSS software. The methodology of capturing research of the Arab countries and converting a Medline search to an SPSS data file was discussed in more details in previously published research by the first author. 1,2

RESULTS: The number of asthma related publications affiliated to the Arab countries over the last 10 years totaled 275 articles. The number of research was doubled in 2010 relative to 2000.  However, only three countries- namely KSA, Egypt and Kuwait- published 63% of the total publications.  The three major areas studied were the epidemiological issues of asthma, its management, and its immunological issue (32%, 18.55%, and 18.05% respectively of total publications). Health system research constituted only 11.27% of publications. Areas as asthma in primary care and gender differences in morbidity and response to treatment are relatively neglected. The majority of publications were journal articles (82.9%), whereas clinical trial articles and evaluation studies constituted only 1.1 % and 3.6 % respectively.  The Saudi Med J followed by J Asthma  and Ann Thorac Med came on top of the list of 131 journals that published asthma research (12 %,  5.09% and 4.37% respectively).

CONCLUSION: Despite the increase in asthma publications, the outcome of some Arab countries was not satisfactory. Areas as health system research, asthma in primary care, and gender differences should have more consideration from Arab researchers.


1: Osman OT, Afifi M. Troubled minds in the Gulf: mental health research in the

United Arab Emirates (1989-2008). Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Jul;22(3


2: Afifi MM. Mental health publications from the Arab world cited in PubMed,

1987-2002. East Mediterr Health J. 2005 May;11(3):319-28.