Making a difference in diabetes

Six out of the world’s top ten countries for highest prevalence (%) of diabetes are in the Middle East and North Africa Region – Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The region has the highest comparative prevalence of diabetes (11.0%). Rapid economic development coupled with ageing populations have resulted in a dramatic increase in the prevalence of diabetes  (Source: IDF Middle East & Africa).

Over the past three decades, major social and economic changes have occurred in the majority of the countries in the region. These include progressive urbanisation, decreased infant mortality and increasing life expectancy. With this rapid development, especially among the more wealthy oil-producing countries, come significant changes involving poor nutrition, decreased physical activity, increased obesity and smoking.