Chronic Diseases Spike in Middle East as Conflicts Rage

August 4, 2017

(Nature) – Across the Middle East, deaths resulting from violence grew by 850% between 1990 and 2015, according to a series of reports published on 3 August in the International Journal of Public Health. The increase accelerated after 2010, corresponding with the beginning of the Arab Spring movement and wars in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, the authors found, the incidence of many chronic diseases has also risen dramatically; the death rate from diabetes, for instance, grew 216% over the study period. Taken together, the analyses describe a disturbing deterioration in health across a broadly defined Middle Eastern region, which includes 22 countries — including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and the United Arab Emirates — that are home to more than 580 million people.

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