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publicationMay 17, 2023

Gulf Economic Update: The Health and Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in the GCC

GCC spring 2023 MENA

The Gulf Economic Update report presents the latest economic developments in the GCC region and highlights medium-term prospects. It also tracks implementation of structural reforms in an effort to push the diversification agenda forward. In this issue, the report focuses on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the GCC and the growing threat that NCDs pose to the health and economies of the region. NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory disease have become the leading cause of death and disability in the region. The report highlights findings from a recent study that estimated the direct medical costs of seven major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to be around $16.7 billion, and the indirect costs-stemming from losses in worker productivity-to be around $80 billion, in 2019 alone. Such costs are expected to grow substantially as the population in the GCC is getting older. Mitigating the health and economic burden of NCDs now and in the future, requires a whole of government to approach to address the underlying risk factors of NCDs with a strategic focus on prevention and targeting of the young and adolescents.