174219 Diabetes Prevention Efforts in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:24 AM

Abeyah Abdulla Alomair, MSc , Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, Department of Mental Health of Bloombeg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Univeristy, Baltimore, MD
Saudi Arabia is a vast country, has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world. The country has witnessed a massive improvement in socioeconomic development. One Saudi in four beyond the age of 30 has Diabetes Mellitus (DM), a total of 1.8million DM cases in the country. DM is vastly asymptomatic with Arab patients and almost 50% of current cases had not shown any signs or symptoms of the disease. There are 38 limbs amputated daily in Riyadh hospitals alone and 4000 people with diabetes become blind annually. DM has overburdened the health services, where it occupies a great space of the services provided at hospitals. The total cost of caring for people with DM was estimated to $ 1.2billion per year in 2006. It is anticipated that the prevalence of will increase rapidly in the near future, some estimate that it will be 4050% in 2020. Especially with the high prevalence of obesity in school children. Factors that influence the epidemic is greatly related to the lifestyle transformation in the last three decades, the changes in dietary habits that occurred in 20 yr in Saudi Arabia took 137 yr in Japan and 200 yr in UK. Available data from a small number of studies suggests a high prevalence (43.3%99.5%) of physical inactivity among Saudi children and adults. The scale of the problem that diabetes poses to country's health system is still widely under-recognized and presents a daunting public health challenge, more efforts are needed, especially to accord high priority to diabetes control, provide adequate budgetary resources and conduct national community-based interventions Diabetes education must become a national objective and a public priority mediated through the concerted efforts of everyone concerned.

Learning Objectives:
R To discuss major factors affecting rate and distribution of diabetes problem in Saudi Arabia R To discuss the health services response to this problem

Keywords: Diabetes, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health specialist and a researcher in this field
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.