50 per cent of women don’t exercise

Muscat Dec 5 – More than 50 per cent of Omani women do not exercise, says National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and their Risk Factors Survey carried out in 2017 across all governorates in the Sultanate. The survey, whose results were announced by Ministry of Health (MoH) on Wednesday, found “insufficient physical activity” among 41.4 per cent of Omanis and 30.6 per cent of non-Omanis as “modifiable behavioural risk factors”. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, was present on the occasion.

Dr Adhra Hilal al Mawali, Director of Studies and Research Center and Chairperson of the Survey Team, blamed NCDs for 70 per cent of deaths in the Sultanate. Dr Al Mawali said 66.5 per cent of Omanis and more than 65 per cent of non-Omanis were overweight or obese. This percentage rose to 69 among Omani females and dropped to 63.5 among Omani males. The survey found 40.9 per cent of women were obese as against 28.2 per cent men. The incidence of high blood cholesterol levels reached 35.5 per cent, 37 per cent among Omanis and 31.4 per cent among non-Omanis.

Dr Al Mawali said: “33.3 per cent of adults have high blood pressure: 32.2 per cent Omanis and 36.5 per cent non-Omanis. The percentage decreased among Omani females to 27.8 and increased among Omani males to 37.9.” The new cases of high blood pressure reached 18.1 per cent, including 17.3 per cent among Omanis and 20.4 per cent among non-Omanis.
The average amount of salt consumed per person daily is 8.5 gm. It increased to 9.6 gm among Omani males and decreased to 7.5 gm among Omani females. Recommended salt per day is 5 gm or less.
The survey found 60.7 per cent of adults in the community ate less than five servings of vegetables or fruits per day (57.7 per cent Omanis, 69.9 per cent non-Omanis), (58.3 per cent Omani males and 56.9 per cent Omani females). A total of 15.7 per cent of adults have high blood glucose levels (14.5 per cent Omanis, 18.8 per cent non-Omanis). The percentage reached 15.9 among Omani females and 13.3 among Omani males.
The new cases reached 4.5 per cent, including 4 per cent Omanis and 6.1 per cent non-Omanis.
The percentage of tobacco smokers among those aged 18 years and above reached 8.5 per cent (6.3 per cent Omanis and 14.2 per cent non-Omanis).Approximately 1.6 per cent of adults drank alcohol within 30 days of the survey (0.4 per cent Omanis, 4.8 per cent of non-Omanis).
At the governorate level, insufficient physical activity was found among 84.3 per cent of Omanis in the Al-Wusta governorate, followed by North Al-Sharqiah at 63.3 per cent, according to the survey.
Eighteen per cent of Omanis in the Dhofar governorate smoked tobacco, of which 37.3 per cent were male.
In Al Wusta, 92.3 per cent of Omanis do not eat the required five servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
Muscat had most people with high blood pressure, with 40 per cent of Omanis suffering from it. In Al Wusta, 56.6 per cent of Omanis have high blood cholesterol.
In Musandam and Dhofar, 45 of Omanis were obese.
Dr Akjemal, WHO Representative to the Sultanate, said the MoH had launched the “most up-to-date and comprehensive data on status of NCDs’ risk factors” in the Sultanate.
In order to address the growing burden of NCDs, Oman has adopted the National Multi-Sectoral Action Plan for the NCD Prevention and Control, she said.
She said Oman was moving towards the ‘Whole of the Government’ approach in its commitment to achieve NCD Global Targets by 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The national survey was carried out on sample of 9,045 Omani and non-Omani families across governorates in collaboration with the MoH’s departments and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Zainab al Nassri