Primary Prevention of Diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa Region: An Ecological Perspective

By Chelsea Heaven, Nancy Morales, Adrienne Luegers, Ahmed YoussefAgha and Wasantha Jayawardene.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The goal of this study is to conduct an ecological analysis to examine the differences in diet and lifestyle between countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region identified as having a high, medium, and low prevalence of diabetes based on the regional average. Data sources included the International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization, and The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

During the past few decades, rapid economic development, urbanization, and social and lifestyle changes have contributed to increase of diabetes prevalence in the MENA region. However, to date few analyses have utilized GDP, population, and food security data to investigate differences between countries inside the MENA region that have high, medium, and low prevalence of diabetes.

On average, countries in the high diabetes prevalence group have higher GDP, lower population, and higher meat consumption than countries in the medium and low diabetes prevalence groups. Countries in the medium and low prevalence groups had significant increases in the consumption of kilocalories and fat from 1990-2007, while countries in the high prevalence group did not have any increases over time.

Keywords: Diabetes, Middle-east, North Africa, Food Consumption, Gross Domestic Product, Population

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.87-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 869.702KB).

Chelsea Heaven

Graduate student, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Nancy Morales

Graduate Student, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

I received my B.S from California State University, Northridge, in public health education. I’m currently attending Indiana University to pursue my Master in Public Health. I worked with the American Cancer Society for two years where I got an opportunity to do educational outreach on nutrition, physical activity, tobacco, and early detection. I then got involved with the AmeriCorp program where I volunteered at St. Ann’s Clinic in Terre Haute, IN. This clinic provides health services to people with no insurance and works with different health problems, which one of them is diabetes. My interest is nutrition and physical activity and I hope to get involved in research in this area. Another area I would like to get involved is minority health and cancer. My interest in public health came about by reading health books and looking at the health problems around my community.

Adrienne Luegers

Graduate Student, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Adrienne Luegers is a first year graduate student at Indiana University, working towards a Master’s degree in Public Health. Her specific interests include the prevention of obesity through the encouragement of healthy and active lifestyles. It is her goal to positively impact the lives of others through her work in the field of public health. Her primary research interests are focused on developing an intervention for the prevention of childhood obesity. The philosophy by which she operates her work and lifestyle is “Prevention is better than a cure.”

Prof. Ahmed YoussefAgha

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

I have worked as a Biostatistician for Oncology Department of Novartis Pharmaceutical, a Biostatistician for Health Outcome Innovations in Humana Health Insurance, an Adjunct Faculty in Computer Sciences Department of Spalding University, KY, a Research Assistant in School of Public Health, University of Louisville, KY, an instructor in computer studies in the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a Management Information System Specialist of US-Aid Programs for Development in Egypt. I’m interested in the integration of Biostatistics, Decision Analysis Techniques, and Computer Sciences for researches in Public Health. My research works include: Abuse of Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs among Indiana Adolescents; an Extension of Stochastic Tree Model Utilizing WAFT Model; Multiobjective Simulation-Based Methodologies for Disease/Injury Treatment; Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: How Presentation of Recurrence Risk Influences Decision-Making; Redesigning UofL Occupational Health Surveillance Program Databases; The Egyptian Industries’ Needs for Entering the International Markets; Old Cairo Tanneries Relocation Project; and The Implications of Business Regulations on Small Enterprises in Egypt.

Dr. Wasantha Jayawardene

Doctoral Student, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

I obtained my medical degree in Moscow and completed medical internship in Sri Lanka followed by working as a Regional Epidemiologist in Sri Lanka for three years. During this period, I had also been conducting rehabilitation following South-Asia Tsunami, post-war rehabilitation, and attended three WHO workshops on management of epidemics in South-East Asia. I have conducted a research on “Psychological Distress Among Nurses Caring for War-Victims in Sri Lanka”, which was accepted by Journal of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness for publication. One of my other researches is “Prevention of Dengue fever: an exploratory school-community intervention involving students empowered as change agents”, which was accepted by Journal of School Health for publication. Few researches/reviews are also completed: Dimensions of HIV/AIDS in Africa; Characteristics of Diabetes Epidemic across Global Regions; Abuse of Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs among Indiana Adolescents; Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Violence and Bullying among Adolescents across Global Regions.