One-Third Of Diabetic Adults Live In China

The number of Chinese people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes has grown more than nine times in a generation, according to a new study by the Global Report on Diabetes.

Of the 422 million adults suffering from diabetes worldwide, 129.3 million live in China - accounting for more than 30% of global diabetic cases in 2014.

Researchers claim that unhealthy diets, poor exercise habits, explosive population growth and aging are all contributors. Additional reasons for the rapid growth of diabetic cases includes lack of access to medical professionals that can detect the disease early, as well as gaps in services for treatment and management.

“More than half of the people with diabetes may be undiagnosed, and according to some estimates, only one-quarter of people with diabetes are receiving treatment,” said Dr. Hai-rim Shin, lead author of the study. “On this there is a need to build primary and community health care services to ensure people with diabetes have access to the treatment that they need.”

Additional explanations and ramifications

Researchers claim that additional risk factors for diabetes like obesity and sedentary lifestyles have also increased in China. In fact, the study purports that 23.8 percent of Chinese residents are physically inactive.

Along with physical inactivity, the growing consumption of unhealthy food and beverages high in sugar have also contributed to the rising rates of diabetes.

The ramifications for diabetic patients in China included 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Additionally, 2.2 million deaths resulted from high blood sugar, a condition that increases the complications of cardiovascular diseases.

To stave off the consequences of diabetes, researchers believe a properly functioning healthcare system in China must be firmly in place.

“China is moving in the right direction here with its tiered health service delivery reforms, but there will be a need to ensure these work to support people with - or at risk of developing - diabetes,” said Dr. Shin.

Source: South China Morning Post

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