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Diabetes in the Middle-East and North Africa: An update for 2013 for the IDF Diabetes Atlas

An article in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice looks at the current state and future predictions of diabetes in the Middle-East and North Africa. In recent decades, the prevalence of diabetes has risen dramatically in many countries of the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Region. This increase has been driven by a range of factors that include rapid economic development and urbanisation; changes in lifestyle that have led to reduced levels of physical activity, increased intake of refined carbohydrates, and a rise in obesity. These changes have resulted in the countries of MENA Region now having among the highest rates of diabetes prevalence in the world. The current prevalence of diabetes in adults in the Region is estimated to be around 9.2%. Of the 34 million people affected by diabetes, nearly 17 million were undiagnosed and therefore at considerable risk of diabetes complications and poor health outcomes. Enhanced research on the epidemiology of diabetes in the MENA Region needs to be combined with more effective primary prevention of diabetes; and early detection and improved management of patients with established diabetes, including an increased focus on self-management and management in primary care and community settings.

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