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Prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the MENA region is one of the highest in the world

Prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the MENA region is one of the highest in the world

A pressing need to make changes to UAE residents’ lifestyles to reduce and prevent joint pain was highlighted by experts speaking on the second day of Arab Health, which continues until 30th January at the Dubai World Trade Centre.


Speaking at the Primary Care Conference, one of 14 Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences taking place across the four days of the Arab Health Congress, Dr William Murrell, who is a Consultant Orthopaedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine, Healthpoint Hospital, Mubadala Healthcare, Abu Dhabi, UAE, outlined the importance of lifestyle modifications in the management of joint disorders while looking at overall health and exercising more regularly.


the management of joint disorders while looking at overall health and exercising more regularly


Dr Murrell said: “We are seeing a huge increase in metabolically related problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and obesity in the region as a result of an increased calories count and a decrease in physical activity.


“Obesity is having a direct impact on joint pain and the many of the systems in the body. Patients develop what we call a metabolic syndrome, and most systems are impacted, specifically limiting major organ systems’ ability to function properly – to create energy, for example,” he added.

According to research produced for Arab Health by Colliers International, seven Middle Eastern countries - Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan and Lebanon - have the highest ratio of obesity among adults globally, with 27% to 40% of the total population affected. Globally, 1.9 billion adults are overweight and 650 million are obese.


“Many patients I see have no injury but have long standing, or recurrent problems, however, frequently they’re overweight, or with a BMI of over 35 denoting morbid obesity, and they have, quite literally, got to the point where the additional weight is the straw that breaks the camel’s back so to speak. The body is at a stage where it is nutritionally deficient, dehydrated and in a significant amount of pain, which impacts sleep which in turn disrupts the body’s ability to regenerate,” said Dr Murrell.

The issues with obesity were further underscored when replacing the hip or knee joint