Burden of diseases attributable to excess body weight in the Middle East and North Africa region, 1990–2019

Seyed Aria Nejadghaderi, Jessica A. Grieger, Nahid Karamzad, Ali Asghar Kolahi, Mark J.M. Sullman, Saeid Safiri, Siamak Sabour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High body mass index (BMI), or excess body weight (EBW), represents a significant risk factor for a range of diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The study sought to determine the burden of diseases attributable to EBW in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 1990 and 2019. The analysis also included an exploration of this burden by age, sex, underlying cause, and sociodemographic index (SDI). We utilized publicly available data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2019 to identify the deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) of diseases associated with EBW in MENA, spanning the period from 1990 to 2019. The GBD estimated the mean BMI and the prevalence of EBW using hierarchical mixed-effects regression, followed by spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression to determine the most accurate BMI distribution through comparison with actual data. In 2019, there were an estimated 538.4 thousand deaths (95% UI 369.9–712.3) and 17.9 million DALYs (12.9–23.1) attributable to EBW in the region. The DALYs attributable to EBW were higher in men (9.3 million [6.5–12.4]) than in women (8.5 million [6.4–10.8]). The age-standardized death and DALY rates for the diseases associated with EBW increased by 5.1% (− 9.0–25.9) and 8.3% (− 6.5–28.8), respectively, during the study period which was not significant. Egypt had the highest age-standardized mortality rate due to EBW (217.7 [140.0, 307.8]), while Yemen (88.6 [45.9, 143.5]) had the lowest. In 2019, the highest number of DALYs occurred among individuals aged 60 to 64 years old. Furthermore, we found a positive association between a nation's SDI and the age-standardized DALY rate linked to EBW. Cardiovascular disease emerged as the leading contributor to the EBW burden in MENA. The disease burden attributable to EBW showed a non-significant increase in MENA from 1990 to 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20338
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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