In 2014, the results of a preliminary analysis by IHME estimated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Ministry of Health (MOH) spent 17 billion Riyals (US$4.53 billion) directly on diabetes treatment. Also, diabetes has a high indirect cost due to loss of productivity and family burden. Because the Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS) found that 979,953, or 15.2% of people aged 15 or older in the Kingdom have borderline diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes, future expenditure on diabetes is estimated to increase to 27 billion Riyals (US$7.20 billion) if borderline conditions develop into diabetes.
These results prompted the Minister of Health to create a committee within the MOH to work with IHME to estimate expenditure on additional non-communicable diseases. IHME is working to estimate expenditure on high blood pressure, asthma, and cancer in KSA.
SHIS findings showed that patients who had borderline diabetes in the past and had regular checkups with the medical system were less likely to develop diabetes. This is an encouraging finding. Prevention works and should be encouraged.