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China catches up with West in diabetes, too

[ 2010-03-26 11:51]     字号 [] [] []  
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After working overtime to catch up to life in the West, China now faces a whole new problem: the world's biggest diabetes epidemic.

One in 10 Chinese adults already have the disease and another 16 percent are on the verge of developing it, according to a new study. The finding nearly equals the US rate of 11 percent and surpasses some other Western nations, including Germany and Canada.

The survey results, published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found much higher rates of diabetes than previous studies, largely because of more rigorous testing measures. With 92 million diabetics, China is now home to the most cases worldwide, overtaking India.

"The change is happening very rapidly, both in terms of their economy and in terms of their health effects," said David Whiting, an epidemiologist at the International Diabetes Federation.

"The rate of increase is much faster than we've seen in Europe and in the US."

Chronic ailments, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, have been steadily climbing in developing countries like China, where many people are moving out of farms and into cities, where they have more sedentary lifestyles.

Greater wealth has led to sweeping dietary changes, including eating heavily salted foods, fatty meats and sugary snacks - boosting obesity rates, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases among adults.

"As people eat more high-calorie and processed foods combined with less exercise, we see an increase of diabetes patients," said Huang Jun, a cardiovascular professor at the Jiangsu People's Hospital in Nanjing, in Jiangsu province.


1 What is the diabetes rate in China?

2 What is a major risk factor for diabetes?

3 What is causing the increase in diabetes in China?


1. One in 10 adults.

2. Obesity.

3. Greater wealth, dietary changes, less exercise.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

China catches up with West in diabetes, too

About the broadcaster:

China catches up with West in diabetes, too

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.