This is a compendium of evidence regarding fasting in Ramadan with health conditions undertaken by the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA). This work builds upon the Ramadan Rapid Review, produced in 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work does not form a directive and should be used by individuals to frame an informed discussion with their clinicians. The views expressed represent the views of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BIMA and are not a substitute for professional advice.
The objective of these reviews is to synthesise the existing literature on fasting with these conditions and understand if there are any adverse or beneficial effects on patients from observing Ramadan.
Medical research on Ramadan is a nascent field in the literature and many studies are of limited use and poor quality.
We have sought the views of experts for their recommendations, with consensus, to help inform guidance – especially where the literature is inconclusive or non-existent.
The guidance herein is to facilitate patients/individuals and healthcare professionals in decisions relating to embarking on fasting and safe fasting, if fasting is undertaken.
The guidance is not authoritative, but informative and ultimately the final decision to fast or not rests with the patient/individual concerned.
We also explore the literature on fasting on the immune system and risk of infections, to help inform how this may play a role in the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as any occupational effects from fasting.
Click here, to view a PDF of the Risk Stratification table.
Click here, to view a PDF table of a summary of the potential risks that could occur with different classes of cardiac medication used while fasting
These are to be read as informative recommendations and guidance, rather than authoritative or prescriptive directives for use by healthcare professionals. The application of these recommendations, particularly in relation to a positive decision to embark on fasting in Ramadan, should not be undertaken by patients without consultation with their responsible healthcare professional.
- December 11, 2021