Nahla Maher Afifi


Dr. Nahla Picture (2)

Nahla Maher Afifi

Title of Presentation

“Cohort profile: the Qatar Biobank. Study design and first results”


Date and Place

Session G1


Speaker Biography

Dr. Nahla Maher Afifi earned her MBBCh with honors from Ain Shams University,
Egypt. She received her Master of Anatomy & Embryology in 1990 and a Diploma of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 1992 from the same University. She received her Ph.D of Anatomy & Embryology in 1996 from Ain Shams University under a joint supervision with University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, USA. Dr. Afifi started her academic career as a Medical Researcher in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She then served as Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at Ain Shams University, and Dubai Medical College for Girls, UAE . Dr. Afifi joined Qatar University’s Biomedical Sciences Program in 1999 as Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Embryology. In June 2002, she was promoted to Associate Professor of Anatomy and Embryology in the same program at Qatar University and then to Full Professor on 2007. She was assigned as a Head of Dept of Health Sciences from 2007-2009. In December 2013 she joined QF as Education and Scientific Manager in Qatar Biobank. Dr. Nahla Afifi has numerous published researches in her field of expertise. She is a member in the American Association of Anatomists, American Society of Investigative Pathology and International Society for Biological and Environmental Biorepository.



Qatar Biobank (QBB), the first very large scale, long-term public biorepository in Qatar, is designed to build a powerful research infrastructure for future investigations of the lifestyle, metabolic and genetic risk factors by collecting comprehensive phenotypic baseline data among healthy volunteers, As of March 2016, the Qatar Biobank has reached a cohort size of around 5230 men and women aged 18 years and older, the present study include a 3070 Qatari Nationals, 51% of them were men and 49% women. Mean age between men and women at enrollment did almost not differ 38.8 years for men and 39.6 years for women, were men were more physically active then women (p<0.0001). Our data on physical measurements showed that three quarter of both men and women was overweight or even obese. Women had a higher BMI (29.4 kg/m2 versus 28.6 kg/m2, p<0.0001. Approximately one-third of men (33.2%) and one-fifth of women (20.0%) had pre-hypertension (p<0.0001). Almost 10% of men and women had hypertension. Analyses of a selection of the blood data showed overall that men had a worse lipid profile than women had (p<0.0001). Approximately 8% of men and 11% of women had a severe Vitamin D deficiency, and even 84% of men and 77% of women were at risk with a mild to moderate Vitamin D deficiency. Almost 14% of all participants reported that they were diagnosed with diabetes. Nineteen percent of the participants with an HbA1c above 6.5% did not even know they had diabetes.