Current Status of Diabetes in Palestine: Epidemiology, Management, and Healthcare System

  • Nuha El SharifEmail author
  • Asma Imam
Living reference work entry

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This chapter reviews the epidemic of diabetes mellitus (DM) that is affecting the Palestinian population, the extent and magnitude of the problem, risk factors and complications, management protocols and compliance, and patients’ quality of life (QoL). Moreover, the challenges and problems facing the Palestinian community in prevention and control of diabetes are discussed. The authors focus on the published literature from the past two decades, and incorporate data from research studies in the field of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is worth noting here that most work done in Palestine in the field are evaluative studies, and that there are no prevention or intervention studies focused on diabetes prevention or control.

DM is considered the fourth leading cause of death in Palestine, with a prevalence of 9.1% in patients aged 20–79 years and is predicted to increase to 20.6% by 2020. Lifestyle changes and uncontrolled glycemic levels are associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 DM (T2DM) and its complications.

All Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) domains of Palestinian patients with DM are negatively affected by its incidence. Moreover, longer duration of DM (>10 years), presence of chronic diseases and comorbidities, and the existence of one or more DM complications negatively impact HRQoL.

T2DM patients’ adherence to anti-diabetic medications in Palestine is suboptimal compared to international studies. The overall adherence levels to the diabetic clinical guidelines are disappointingly suboptimal within the Palestinian Primary Healthcare Centers of both the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA).


Epidemiology Risk factors Prevention Complications Management protocols Compliance Quality of life Diabetes strategy Challenges Arabs Palestine Diabetes management Medication adherence 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Public HealthAl Quds UniversityJerusalemPalestine

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anastasia Samara
    • 1
  • Atika Khalaf
    • 2
  1. 1.Health PromotionUniversity of Southern DenmarkEsbjergDenmark
  2. 2.Faculty of Health ScienceKristianstad UniversityKristianstadSweden

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