Muscat, aug 29 – Oman is witnessing an epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), said the 2017 annual report of the Ministry of Health. “This could be attributed partly to changes in lifestyle, changes in demographic patterns and concerted activities directed at the control of communicable diseases by the Ministry of Health (MoH),” said the report. It says communicable diseases accounted for 43.2 per cent of the total OPD cases in 1996 as against 31.2 per cent in 2017 and non-communicable diseases 42.5 per cent in 1996 as against 43.7 per cent in 2017. According to the report, airborne infections were the main cause of morbidity among both outpatients and inpatients.
Stressing the need to address the issue of non-communicable diseases seriously, the report says that cardiovascular diseases accounted for 37 per cent of total deaths (175 out of 473) in the age group 45 to 59 years. In the age group 60 years and above, cardiovascular diseases contributed to 29.2 per cent of deaths (647 out of 2,217). A total of 94,921 cases of diabetes were registered at the national level in 2017, including 6,360 new cases in various governorates. Out of the 6,360 new cases of diabetes registered in 2017, women accounted for 51.8 per cent (3,198). A total of 2,863 men were diagnosed with diabetes. Fourteen per cent of cases registered were in the age group 40-44 years, followed by 50-54 years (13.6 per cent) and 45-49 years (13.5 per cent).
The highest number of new diabetes cases were reported in North Batinah (1,515) followed by Muscat (1,164). Only 101 cases were reported in Al Wusta and Buraimi governorates. Studies have shown the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Oman is increasing. While the National Health Survey of diabetes, conducted in 1991, showed the prevalence at 9.75 per cent, the National Health Survey for 2000 showed the prevalence increased to 11.6 per cent among adults over 20 years of age.