Almost 80% of referred population were unaware of their condition

More than 70% found obese or overweight in Qatar

 14 Mar 2017 - 23:42

More than 70% found obese or overweight in Qatar
Image used for representation only.

By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula

More than 70 percent of Qatar’s population are  either overweight or obese and nearly half of all men (48%) are found obese, shows the Qatar Biobank report 2016.

The report also revealed that 83% of the population do little or no physical exercise, and 41 % are not participating in any physical exercise. Also more than 45% of participants consume fast food more than three times a week.

The findings of the report are based on an analysis of biological samples and information collected from voluntary participants at the Qatar Biobank. It includes a comprehensive health profile of more than 5,000 Qataris and long-term residents.

Dr Nahla Afifi, Scientific and Education Manager and Acting Director of Qatar Biobank, presented the findings at the Qatar Biobank Conference, which is being held under the theme ‘The Impact of Biobanking on Precision Medicine Initiatives’ at Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

Other findings show that 16 percent of Qatar Biobank visitors were diagnosed with diabetes, and 86% Vitamin D deficient. The most prominent types of cancers among the Qatar Biobank population were breast, cervical, and thyroid for women, and prostate and bladder for men.

However, according to the Qatar Biobank sample cohort only 39 percent of men and four percent of women were reported as smokers.

“By generating a comprehensive picture of the environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to health issues facing the local population, we can begin to help researchers and healthcare providers make better diagnosis and provide better treatment for diseases affecting the health of Qatar’s population,” said Dr Afifi.

One of the major findings of the Qatar Biobank cohort was that almost 80 percent of the referred population were unaware of their condition. More than 40 percent of the participants had some abnormality and they were referred to the Hamad Medical Corporation for further medical advice.

“Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes are emerging as significant health problems and are now the major cause of death and disability in Qatar. The population in Qatar is also experiencing a lifestyle transition, replacing traditional diets with those higher in fat and refined and processed foods, and decreasing the levels of physical activity,” Dr Afifi said.

“Analysis of the pilot phase data indicates that in addition to the primary goal of Qatar Biobank to collect information and samples as a platform to empower research in Qatar, it also plays an important role of early identification and prompt treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, which will reduce the future burden in health sector,” she added.

Among whose health data included in the Qatar Biobank cohort, 51 percent are men and 49 percent are women and majority of them were between the age of 25 years and 34 years. Among them the youngest participant was 18 years and the oldest was 85 years.

Qatar Biobank, of Qatar Foundation (QF), launched in 2012, will continue to collect biological samples from Qataris and long-term residents to facilitate vital medical research that will enable better healthcare diagnosis and outcomes, and in turn a healthier population.