Arab world ‘catching up with West’

ABU DHABI // The prevalence of MS in the Arab world is comparable with figures in the West, statistics show.

For Emiratis in Abu Dhabi the MS prevalence rate is 64.44 per 100,000, while an earlier study found that the rate was about 54.77 per 100,000 in Dubai.

In North America and some parts of Northern Europe, the rate is more than 100 per 100,000.

In 2008, the Western Pacific had a prevalence rate of 5, while Africa had a rate of 0.3.

Countries with the highest rates were Hungary, at 176, Slovenia at 150, Germany at 149, and the United States of America at 135.

“The profile of MS in the Arab world is changing, with a significant rise rapidly approaching rates found in the West,” the study found.

The westernisation of lifestyles is considered to be one of the reasons this.

“Given the profoundly challenging lifestyle of the Emirati people living in the region in the mid 20th century, the argument could be made that the phenomenal improvement in overall health and life expectancy has enabled a more accurate assessment of MS prevalence within the population in comparison to the West,” said the study.


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