Stories

SaveSave story

Chronic disease rates up in Middle East amid violence

Bilal Hussein / AP

Deaths resulting from violence in the Middle East grew 850% between 1990 and 2015, according to reports published this week in the International Journal of Public Health. They also found this coincided with a dramatic increase in chronic diseases, per Nature:

  • The death rate from diabetes grew 216% over the study period, an increase of 179% compared to the 1990 level.
  • The leading cause of death in the region is cardiovascular disease, weighing in at 34% of all deaths in the region. That same figure was 30% in 1990.
  • There was an increase by 1,027% in deaths from war, terrorism, and state punishment for crimes.
  • Homicide and death from physical and sexual assault increased in the region to 5.7 people per 100,000 (2015). For context, not that's lower than figures in the Americas or Africa.

Why it's happening: Stresses on mental health have a strong link to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told Nature.