CHINA HAS RECENTLY OVERTAKEN INDIA AS THE WORLD LEADER IN DIABETES

According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine,  China has surpassed India as the world’s leader in diabetes.

Over 92 million adults in China are afflicted with type 2 diabetes, a disease primarily related to obesity, high calorie diets and sedentary lifestyle. Yang Wenyng, chairman of endocrinology at the China Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, lead a team of researchers studying more than a dozen Chinese hospitals across 2007 and 2008 to determine the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. In addition to their findings that over 92 million Chinese individuals currently suffer with type 2 diabetes, they further report that an estimated 148 million Chinese have pre-diabetes (this is a condition that leads to full blown diabetes and time and is measured by higher than normal circulating blood glucose levels and abnormal glucose tolerance tests).

This study and other reports related to diabetes in China, indicate a massive economic and social toll from the disease. A high toll of early cardiovascular death is expected from the rapid rise in type 2 diabetes across China and poses a major public health problem.

In the United States there are estimated to be around 26 million diabetes sufferers or around 12% of the population. There are many more than this number who are pre-diabetic and will develop diabetes as the years progress. As the epidemic of obesity widens, these numbers will markedly increase over time. Obesity and diabetes are sometimes together refered to as “diabesity” post a major, worldwide, public health challenge.

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