Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Forecasting future prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Syria

Radwan Al Ali12*, Fawaz Mzayek13, Samer Rastam12, Fouad M Fouad1, Martin O’Flaherty4, Simon Capewell4 and Wasim Maziak15

Author Affiliations

1 Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies, Aleppo, Syria

2 School of Medicine, University of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

3 Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

4 Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

5 Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:507  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-507

Published: 25 May 2013



Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasingly becoming a major public health problem worldwide. Estimating the future burden of diabetes is instrumental to guide the public health response to the epidemic. This study aims to project the prevalence of T2DM among adults in Syria over the period 2003–2022 by applying a modelling approach to the country’s own data.


Future prevalence of T2DM in Syria was estimated among adults aged 25 years and older for the period 2003–2022 using the IMPACT Diabetes Model (a discrete-state Markov model).


According to our model, the prevalence of T2DM in Syria is projected to double in the period between 2003 and 2022 (from 10% to 21%). The projected increase in T2DM prevalence is higher in men (148%) than in women (93%). The increase in prevalence of T2DM is expected to be most marked in people younger than 55 years especially the 25–34 years age group.


The future projections of T2DM in Syria put it amongst countries with the highest levels of T2DM worldwide. It is estimated that by 2022 approximately a fifth of the Syrian population aged 25 years and older will have T2DM.