Characteristics of Syrian and Lebanese Diabetes and Hypertension Patients in Lebanon

Shannon Doocy1, *, Emily Lyles1, Zeina Fahed2, Abdalla Mkanna2, Kaisa Kontunen2, Gilbert Burnham1
1 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
2 International Organization for Migration, Beirut, Lebanon

© 2018 Doocy et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA, Tel: +1-410-402-2628, Fax: 410-614-1419; E-mail:



Given the protracted nature of the crisis in Syria, the large caseload of Syrian refugee patients with non-communicable diseases, and the high costs of providing non-communicable disease care, implications for Lebanon’s health system are vast.


To provide a profile of the health status of diabetes and hypertension patients enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study in Lebanon.


A longitudinal cohort study was implemented from January 2015 through August 2016 to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment guidelines and an mHealth application on the quality of care and health outcomes for patients in primary health care facilities in Lebanon offering low-cost services serving both Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities. This paper presents baseline characteristics of enrolled patients, providing an overall health status profile.


Among participants, 11.5% of patients with hypertension and 9.7% of patients with diabetes were previously undiagnosed. Quality of care, measured as the proportion of patients with biometrics reported and whose condition is controlled, is less than ideal and varied by geographic location. Controlled blood pressure measurements were observed in 64.2% of patients with hypertension; HbA1C values indicated diabetes control in 43.5% of the patients.


Differences in diagnostic history and disease control between Syrian and Lebanese patients and across geographic regions were observed, which could be applied to inform strategies aimed at improving diagnosis and quality of care for hypertension and diabetes in primary care settings in Lebanon.

Keywords: Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Disease, Lebanon, Syria, Refugees.