International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

November 14, 2011 08:00 ET

Rates of Diabetes in the Middle East to Double in Next 20 Years

Region Includes Six Out of the World's Top Ten Countries With the Highest Prevalence of Diabetes

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2011) - World Diabetes Day 2011 marks the release of the International Diabetes Federation´s 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas. New figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030. In the Middle East and North Africa Region, 32.6 million or 9.1% of the population now have diabetes and this number is expected to double in less than 20 years.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) anticipates that by 2030, 11% of the Middle East and North Africa region or 59.7 million people will be living with diabetes. Six out of the world's top ten countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes are in the region.

IDF estimates that there are as many as 19.2 million people still undiagnosed. The new regional figures also show that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the region for younger age groups is substantially higher than the global average.

Dr Amir-Kamran Nikousokhan Tayar, Chair of IDF's Middle East and North Africa region said "It is now more vital than ever that we adopt a multi-sectoral approach to tackling diabetes. We need to encourage governments in our countries to take a health in all policies approach and encourage people, in particular parents, to educate themselves on the risks associated with diabetes and to know the signs".

The regional figures echo the shocking increase in diabetes on a global level. "In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease" said Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) "We want World Diabetes Day 2011 to bring these alarming diabetes facts into the global spotlight".

The release of these figures follow the September meeting of 193 Heads of State and government at the UN in New York to agree on a Political Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) including diabetes.

IDF's commitment to curbing the diabetes epidemic in the Middle East can be seen in their choice to hold the biennial World Diabetes Congress in Dubai from December 4-8. This Congress represents the only opportunity for the global diabetes community to unite in one place on a regular basis.

To keep awareness high in the month leading up to the Congress, IDF has launched its Check out for Diabetes Campaign, asking hotels in the region to contribute to IDF's Life for a Child programme by placing a donation for each room occupied throughout the duration of the World Diabetes Congress.

It is hoped that campaigns such as World Diabetes Day will continue to raise the voice of people with diabetes and move advocacy to action on a global scale.

About World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolutions 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. This year sees the third of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes.

About the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF's mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

About the Life for a Child Programme

The International Diabetes Federation "Life for a Child" Programme was established in 2001 with support from the Australian Diabetes Council (previously known as Diabetes Australia - NSW) and HOPE worldwide. It is an innovative and sustainable support programme in which individuals, families and organisations contribute monetary or in-kind donations to help children with diabetes in developing countries.

For more information on the 5th edition Diabetes Atlasand country-by-country statistics visit:

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Contact Information

  • For more information on country and region specific data,
    please contact: International Diabetes Federation
    Sara Webber, PR Coordinator
    +32 2 543 16 39 or +32 496 12 94 70