By Hamed Mahmoud
Novo Nordisk Egypt announced a new study on the economic burden & cost of obesity in Egypt, through a unique collaboration with Ministry of Health & “100 Million Healthy lives” campaign, as well as the diabetes and obesity associations in Egypt. A press conference was held to announce the results of the study in participation of members of diabetes and obesity associations, international research firms, and prominent professors from medical associations and university hospitals with a goal to quantify the epidemiological and financial burden of obesity in Egypt.
The new study focuses on the epidemiological and financial burden of obesity in Egypt, focusing on the 13 major comorbidities associated with obesity, including hypertension, sleep apnea, fatty liver, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and number of other diseases such as depression, and cardiovascular diseases. Obesity has an economic burden, as it costs Egyptians about EGP 50bn annually to treat comorbidities caused by the disease. The figures of 2020 showcase a stark increase in obese cases in the country compared to previous years, taking into consideration the population growth rate.
During the press conference, Dr. Ayman Hassan, VP and GM of Novo Nordisk Egypt expressed his gratitude towards the efforts exerted to complete the study in Egypt. He stated that public and private partnerships that support the prevention of serious chronic healthcare issues are essential in reducing the burden of obesity. Together, partnerships like these will help in raising awareness, and quantifying the benefits of prevention and treatment of obesity for healthier generations to come.
The study highlighted that Diabetes mellitus (DM) type 2 is the major comorbidity associated with obesity. Consequently, resulting in 7 million adult patients with diabetes due to obesity, while around 13 million Egyptian adults suffer from sleep apnea due to obesity. Additionally, the study revealed 8.5 million Egyptian adults suffering from fatty liver due to obesity. The study confirmed that the expected number of patients with hypertension caused by obesity reaches to 6 million Egyptian adults, bringing the total expected deaths due to obesity to 114,879, which represents 19.08% of the total deaths, estimated for 2020.
The event was held in presence of Danish ambassador to Egypt, Svend Olling, along with the attendance of Prof Alia Al Aghouri, Professor of Endocrinology Unit Alexandria University and Secretary General of Egyptian Society of Endocrinology and Obesity (ESEO), Prof Nabil ElKafrawy, Professor of Diabetes Menofia University, Member of National Diabetes Committee, Prof Ibrahim Al Ibrashy, Professor of Internal Medicine and Diabetes, Cairo University and Member of The National Committee for Diabetes and Endocrinology. And Prof Mohamed Aboul Ghate, Professor of Medicine Cairo University and Secretary General of Egyptian Medical Association of obesity (EMASO), as well as Dr. Ayman Hassan, Vice President and General Manager of Novo Nordisk Egypt.
The study abstract was published at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcome Research (ISPOR) congress in USA in 2020, and the study to be published in 2021. It is worth mentioning that out of 49.7 million Egyptian adults, 39.8% suffer from obesity, according to a survey conducted in 2019 by “100 Million Healthy Lives” campaign.