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Monday 28th May 2018

Diabetes epidemic in China

30th March 2010

Diabetes is currently reaching the status of epidemic in China, according to recent Chinese research.


The researchers estimate that many people among over 92 million men and women in China have undiagnosed diabetes, meaning that one in every 10 adults there suffers from the disease.

They also showed that about 148 million Chinese may be 'pre-diabetic', meaning that they show early signs of diabetes.

The researchers gathered their data from a sample of over 46,000 adults over the age of 20.

The subjects came from 14 different Chinese provinces.

The researchers said that their results indicated diabetes had reached epidemic proportions in the general adult population of China.

They said that since China had such a large population, the burden it bore from diabetes would be larger than that of other countries.

Worldwide, 2.8% of people from all age groups had diabetes in the year 2000.

In the United States alone, 24 million people have diabetes, about 8% of the population.

The researchers said that the increase in diabetes rates was the price Chinese people paid for economic growth, because people have embraced fast-food lifestyles.

Yang Wenying, one of the 20 authors of the recent study, from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, said that Chinese people's lifestyles had changed in the past 10 years, and that people who did not have enough money for food or warm clothes before were now overeating and not getting enough exercise.

The researchers said that population ageing and urbanisation had also probably contributed to the rapid diabetes increase they observed.

According to the Chinese ministry of health, a 2004 nationwide survey revealed that there are more than 60 million obese people in China.

Jiang He of Tulane University in New Orleans, who was also one of the 20 researchers, said that the data the team gathered showed diabetes had become a major risk factor for heart disease in China, which is currently the country's top killer.

He said that China needed to make diabetes its top public health priority.

Vivian Fonseca, a diabetes expert at Tulane, said that there was nothing surprising in the finding.

She said that exactly what had happened in the US over the last 20 years was happening today in China and India, albeit more rapidly.


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