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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 39-53

The year in ramadan fasting research (2017): A narrative review

1 Division of Endocrinology, Institute of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
3 Department of Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE
5 Department of Medicine, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE
6 Department of Nephrology, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
7 Division of Gastroenterology, Institute of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE
8 Department of Hematology, Imperial College Healthcare, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salem A Beshyah
Institute of Medicine, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_9_18

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Ramadan fasting is one of the five Pillars of Islam. While there are several exemptions from fasting, many Muslims with medical conditions still choose to fast. This may adversely affect their health if not addressed properly. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the health implications of Ramadan fasting. The authors performed a narrative, nonsystematic review of the literature including case reports, case series, and review articles indexed in PubMed and Google Scholar in a full calendar year. All records were reviewed by two coauthors at least. Studies were reviewed, summarized, and represented to provide a readily comprehensible concise account of the contributions made to research and clinical practice in 1 year (January–December 2017). The publications spanned physiological and clinical aspects and crossed conventional disciplinary lines in various languages, locations, and systems of journal access. A total of 92 and 82 were found in the PubMed and Google Scholar databases, respectively. Diabetes, hypoglycemia, insulin, and body composition were among the most relevant issues addressed this year. Discipline wise, diabetes, physiology, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, eyes, respiratory, nephrology, neuropsychiatry, and endocrinology were most prominent. Other articles have considered professional competence, education, ethics, culture, and organization of care. Many of the research groups are based in emerging countries with Muslim-majority, but the publications are still widely distributed in internationally recognized journals. Several workers seem to have Ramadan fast at the center of their academic interest inferred from the number of publications to which they have contributed. The authors hope this review will help direct further research and should inform clinical practice guidance.

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