Emerging burden of frail young and elderly persons in Oman: For whom the bell tolls?

Hamed Al-Sinawi, Mohammed Al-Alawi, Rehab Al-Lawati, Ahmed Al-Harrasi, Mohammed Al-Shafaee, Samir Al-Adawi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Recent improvements in health and an increased standard of living in Oman have led to a reduction in environment-related and infectious diseases. Now the country is experiencing an epidemiological transition characterised by a baby boom, youth bulge and increasing longevity. Common wisdom would therefore suggest that Omanis will suffer less ill health. However, a survey of literature suggests that chronic non-communicable diseases are unexpectedly becoming common. This is possibly fuelled by some socio-cultural patterns specific to Oman, as well as the shortcomings of the 'miracle' of health and rapid modernisation. Unfortunately, such new diseases do not spare younger people; a proportion of them will need the type of care usually reserved for the elderly. In addition, due to their pervasive and refractory nature, these chronic non-communicable diseases seem impervious to the prevailing 'cure-oriented' health care system. This situation therefore calls for a paradigm shift: a health care system that goes beyond a traditional cure-orientation to provide care services for the chronically sick of all ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Burden of illness
  • Chronic disease
  • Demographic
  • Disability
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Oman
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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