ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P575 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P575

The fasting of diabetic patients during Ramadan: a dilemma of religious conviction and medical prohibition

Najat Draoui, Imane Assarrar, Siham Rouf & Hanane Latrech


Department of Endocrinology-Diabetology-Nutrition, Mohammed VI University Hospital, Oujda, Morocco.


Introduction: Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims where they have to fast from dawn until dark. It is a questionable issue in patients with chronic diseases who may experience or aggravate their metabolic complications, especially for diabetic patients. The purpose of this study is to assess diabetic patients, knowledge of fasting in a religious and medical point of view.

Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted after the holy month of Ramadan, on 45 patients, whose clinical data (type, duration and complications of diabetes, an assessment of well-being during and after Ramadan in patients who fasted or not), and paraclinical data were collected.

Results and discussion: The mean age of patients was 53.62 years. 80% of patients had type 2 diabetes mellitus. Only 37% of patients have fasted during Ramadan for various reasons which were dominated by religious belief. For the 63% who did not fast: 64% out of them followed the advice of their doctors, and 21% of patient because they had comorbidities. 58% of the patients who fasted experienced complications, 50% of them had a diabetes ketoacidosis, a hypoglycemia for 40% of them, of whom 61% required hospitalization. Mean HbA1c in patients who did not fast decreased from 8.49% to 8.08%, while for fasting patients it increased from 7.96% to 8.08% after Ramadan.

Conclusion: Despite the therapeutic education, the majority of diabetic patients fast during the holy month of Ramadan, neglecting immediate complications, as well as long-term complications of fasting.

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