Forecasting the burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Qatar to 2050: A novel modeling approach

Susanne F. Awad, Martin O'Flaherty, Julia Critchley, Laith J. Abu-Raddad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: We developed and demonstrated a novel mathematical modeling approach to forecast the burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to investigate T2DM epidemiology for the purpose of informing public health policy and programming. Methods: A population-level compartmental mathematical model was constructed and applied to Qatar. The model was stratified according to sex, age group, risk factor status, and T2DM status, and was parameterized by nationally-representative data. Results: T2DM prevalence increased from 16.7% in 2012 to at least 24.0% by 2050. The rise in T2DM was most prominent among 45–54 years old. T2DM health expenditure was estimated to increase by 200–600% and to account for up to 32% of total health expenditure by 2050. Prevalence of obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity was predicted to increase from 41.4% to 51.0%, from 16.4% to 19.4%, and from 45.9% to 53.0%, respectively. The proportion of T2DM incidence attributed to obesity, smoking and physical inactivity was estimated at 57.5%, 1.8%, and 5.4%, respectively in 2012, and 65.7%, 2.1%, and 6.0%, respectively in 2050. Exploring different scenarios for the trends in risk factors, T2DM prevalence reached up to 37.7% by 2050. Conclusions: Using our innovative approach, a rising T2DM epidemic is predicted to continue in the next decades, driven by population growth, ageing and adverse trends in risk factors. Obesity was the principal risk factor explaining two-thirds of T2DM incidence. T2DM must be a national priority addressed by preventive and therapeutic interventions targeting T2DM and its modifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Mathematical modeling
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Obesity
  • Qatar
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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