Over 400,000 elderly Saudis suffer from chronic diseases


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — More than 400,000 old Saudi men and women who are above 65 years of age are suffering from various chronic diseases, the Arabic daily Al-Madnia reported on Sunday quoting the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).

The GaStat said 43 percent of old Saudi men and 57 percent of old Saudi women suffer from chronic diseases, which among others include diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.

In a survey for the year 2017, the authority said there are more than 854,000 old people in the country, who constitute about 4.2 percent of the population. It said 48.9 percent of them are men and 51.1 women.

The authority said the majority of the old people live in Makkah, constituting about 24.5 percent of the total.

About 70 percent of the old men are married and about 27 percent widows.

According to the authority, about 1 percent of the old people are single while 2 percent of them divorced.

About 28 percent of the old people suffer from diabetes and hypertension, while 13 percent are victims of arthritis and less than 1 percent have Alzheimer’s.

The authority said about 70 percent of the old men and about 28 percent of the old women still socialize. About 24 percent have vision problems.

About 79 percent of the old have benefitted from the curative services being provided free of charge by the government while about 21 percent receive treatment in hospitals through medical insurance.

About the daily services the old people need, the authority said about 71 percent of them need assistance to move around, 24.7 percent to take medicines and 13.8 percent to take food, while 30 percent require personal care.

It said about 78 percent of the old are receiving services from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, including financial assistance.