As many as 35mn people in the Middle East are suffering from diabetes, out of a global diabetic population of 382mn, making it the region with the highest prevalence of diabetes, the Excellence in Diabetes (EiD) conference was told yesterday.
Addressing the three-day event, EiD chair and professor of Diabetes Medicine at University of Oxford, David R Matthews, said 46% of the diabetes cases remain undiagnosed.
“Every six seconds, one person dies of diabetes and 80% of diabetes is found in low and middle income groups. About $548bn were spent globally to fight the disease in 2013,” he explained while observing that diabetes is found more in places with either more affluence or malnutrition.
Speaking about ways to prevent diabetes and obesity, Jaakko Tuomilehto, professor of public health at Helsinki University in Finland, said that there will be around 592mn people world over suffering from diabetes and obesity by 2035.
“The Mena region alone accounts for 11% of global diabetes cases as of 2013. In the region, there is higher prevalence of diabetes among women than men while at other places diabetes is more prevalent among men,” he said while suggesting that an urgent frame work is needed for obesity control.
Welcoming the delegates, Qatar Diabetes Association executive director Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq said the conference was an opportunity to suggest ways to manage the diseases of
diabetes and obesity.
“Diabetes along with obesity has become a very serious threat for humanity with the disease reaching alarming heights in the recent years. We will discuss ways to overcome these
challenges,” he added.
EiD, jointly organised by the Gulf Group for the Study of Diabetes, is being attended by a large number of experts and practitioners from Qatar and the region. The theme is ‘Diabesity: Confronting the epidemic of diabetes and obesity.’