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Diabetes News - Diabetes Epidemic Effects

To catch up with living standards in the West by working overtime, China now confronts by a whole new problem: the world’s most adult diabetes epidemic. According to a new study, one in ten Chinese adults already has diabetes and another 16 percent are on the brink of getting it.

The number nearly equates to the United States’ rate of 11 percent and exceeds those for other Western nations, including Germany and Canada. China is now home to the most cases worldwide, with 92 million diabetics, passing India. The survey results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered much higher rates of diabetes than previous studies, mostly because of more stringent testing measures.

The report indicate that diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the general adult population in China with most cases still remained undiagnosed. Given its large population, China may bear a higher diabetes-related burden than any other country. The report adds that another 148.2 million were regarded to be pre-diabetic, or showing early symptoms of developing diabetes, a condition that could lead to cardiovascular disease, which is China’s leading cause of death.
The alteration is occurring very quickly both in terms of their economy and in terms of their health effects,” said epidemiologist David Whiting at the International Diabetes Federation, who was not involved in the study. ‘The rate of increase is much faster than we’ve found in Europe and in the US.”

Chronic ailments, such as high bleed pressure and heart disease, have been steadily climbing in rapidly developing countries like China, where many people are moving out of farms and into cities where they have more sedentary lifestyles. More wealth has led to diet changes, including consuming heavy salted food, fatty meats and sugary snacks which encourage obesity rates, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, which accountings 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases among grown ups.

As nations consume more high-calorie and processed foods united with less exercise, we see an increase of diabetes patients,” said cardiovascular professor Huang Jun at the Jiansu People’s Hospital in Nanjing, capital of northern ChIna’s Jiangsu province, who also did not participate in the study.

“Whereas 20 years ago, people took naps during the work week but now people are faced with the stress of making more money to support a Family and buying a house.”
Previous studies over three decades have presented a gradual climb in China’s diabetes rates. The sharp rise in the latest study, done from year 2007 to 2008, is mostly explained by more stringent testing methods, said lead author Yang Wenying from the China-Japan Frieindship Hospital In Beijing. The study was based on a sample of more than 46,000 adults aged 20 years or older from 14 provinces and municipalities which was representative of the entire population, said the author.

Former nationwide analyses only relied on one blood sugar tolerance test, while this survey got many more cases by ascertaining levels again two hours later, an approach recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The study found more than half of the people with diabetes did not know they had it. Dr Yang said she was alarmed by the findings, and China’s Ministry of Health has been alerted. She said there will be programs to promote a national prevention strategy. The WHO estimates that diabetes, heart disease and stroke will cost China US$558 billion between years 2006 and 2015.

Diabetes occurs when the body is ineffective to regularise blood sugar. It is a major risk component for the heart disease, which persists as the biggest killer in the world’s most populous nation.

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