1 in 10 Chinese adults are diabetics, study finds

Mar 24, 2010

A large population-based study of diabetes in China conducted by investigators from Tulane University and their colleagues in China has concluded that the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the adult population of China. The study estimates that 92.4 million adults age 20 or older (9.7 percent of the population) have diabetes and 148.2 million adults (15.5 percent) have prediabetes, a key risk factor for the development of overt diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The results are published in the March 25 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The study builds on several recent large studies in China that have documented a rapid increase in diabetes in the population. The current study administered an oral glucose tolerance test to 46,239 adults aged 20 or older from 14 provinces and municipalities throughout China in order to identify cases of previously undiagnosed diabetes. Subjects of the study who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were identified through questioning by the study's data collectors.

Following recent rapid economic development in China, cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death in the county. Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and the prevalence of diabetes in China, as this study indicates, is high and increasing. Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular complications and premature death, and results in a massive economic burden for society.

The researchers noted a higher prevalence of diabetes among urban residents in China than among rural ones, a result consistent with observations that have been made in developing countries throughout the world. "Urbanization is associated with changes in lifestyle that lead to physical inactivity, an unhealthful diet and obesity, all of which have been implicated as contributing factors in the development of diabetes," says Dr. Jiang He, Joseph S. Copes, M.D. Chair and Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public health and Tropical Medicine and the senior author of the study.

With its very large population, China may bear a higher diabetes-related burden than any other country, assert the researchers. Especially alarming is the finding that the majority of cases of diabetes (60.7 percent) are undiagnosed and untreated. The researchers conclude that diabetes and its consequences have become a major public health crisis in China, and recommend that the country quickly develop and institute national strategies for preventing, detecting and treating diabetes in the general population.

Explore further: Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Latest diabetes figures paint grim global picture

Oct 20, 2009

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released new data today showing that a staggering 285 million people worldwide have diabetes. The latest figures from the IDF Diabetes Atlas indicate that people in low and middle-income ...

Youth diabetes in Europe set to explode: study

May 28, 2009

Incidence of Type 1 diabetes in children aged under five in Europe is set to double by 2020 over 2005 levels while cases among the under-15s will rise by 70 percent, according to a study published on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

45 minutes ago

Doctors, nurses and hospital workers fighting the Ebola epidemic in west Africa are struggling with a daily burden of exhaustion, shortage of staff and fear for themselves over the deadly virus, specialists say.

Hong Kong makes Ebola 'contingency' measures

3 hours ago

Hong Kong said Wednesday it was quarantining all people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who were showing Ebola-like symptoms on arrival in the city, as fears grow worldwide about the spread of the deadly virus.

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

6 hours ago

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

Reducing kidney injury using a quality improvement method

11 hours ago

Using quality improvement measures in eight of the 10 hospitals in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, researchers have found a way to reduce kidney injury in patients undergoing a procedure with ...

App for headache sufferers shows success

23 hours ago

A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

ACP expert discusses risks of biocontainment laboratories

Jul 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risks emanating from biocontainment laboratories should be prevented by implementation of appropriate safety policies and procedures, according to an editorial published online July 29 in ...

User comments : 0