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The World Health Organization has said that the brisk rise in diabetes rates across the Middle East and North Africa are becoming a major source of concern to the region's governments in terms of containing the epidemic and the financial burden of health care costs, New York Times has reported. According to estimates by the International Diabetes Foundation, 26.6 million adults in the Middle East and North Africa currently have diabetes, accounting for 9.3% of the world's adults with the disease, with this number expected to almost double over the next 20 years to reach 51.7 million by 2030. The region spends $5.5bn annually on diabetes, or 14% of its total health care expenditure. The UAE has the second-highest rate in the world, behind only the Pacific island state of Nauru, followed by Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.