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Type 2 Diabetes in the Gulf Cooperation Council States


The worldwide increase in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has been particularly marked in the states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). In a systematic review published in PLoS One, Layla Alhyas and colleagues from Imperial College London examined studies that had aimed to measure the prevalence of T2DM in this region. They identified 27 for review. Six studies were published in the 1980s, 13 in the 1990s, 8 in the 2000s. Eleven studies were of Saudi populations, 3 Kuwaiti, 2 Bahraini, 6 Emirati, 4 Omani and 1 Qatari. Sample sizes ranged from 336 to 600132. All were cross-sectional studies.

Subgroup analysis by country indicated that the estimated prevalence of T2DM between GCC countries are comparable. The lowest estimated prevalence was found in KSA 4.01%; followed by Oman 4.5%. Bahrain had the highest estimated prevalence of T2DM among GCC countries at 5.17%. The estimated prevalence rates between Qatar, UAE and Kuwait were close (5.12 vs. 5.10%  vs. 5.14%. Alhyas and colleagues concluded that 2DM is an increasing problem for all GCC states. They would therefore benefit from co-ordinated implementation of broadly consistent prevention, detection and management strategies.

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