WHO alarmed over Mideast premature deaths
Dubai, January 11, 2014
There have been a large number of premature deaths in the Middle East region and governments need to urgently prevent lifestyle diseases in the population, said report citing a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official.
Projections show there will be an alarming rise in early deaths in the population due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases, the Gulf News quoted Dr Ala Alwan, the WHO regional director, as saying.
In the UAE, 67 per cent of deaths are due to NCDs and this has had a “profound impact on families, communities and in the prospects for development”, he said.
About 59 per cent of deaths among Emirati men are premature, before the age of 60 years, he said. Among Emirati women, 47 per cent of deaths are due to NCDs, he said.
The usual suspects are lack of physical activity, unhealthy diets and smoking, he added.
UAE is among the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, and once diabetes and NCDs develop, they take up a substantial proportion of heath care services, said the report citing Dr Alwan.