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September 4, 2013

Diabetes and Noncommunicable Disease: Prevent the Preventables

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Prince of Wales Hospital International Diabetes Federation Centre of Education, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China
JAMA. 2013;310(9):916-917. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.168099

In this issue of JAMA, Xu et al1 provide 2010 estimates of the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in China. This is the first large survey to use the latest American Diabetes Association criteria, which include glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose, and 2-hour glucose during a 75-g oral-glucose tolerance test. The study was a substantial undertaking, striving for representation across 31 provinces and performing all 3 glucose measures in 98 658 Chinese adults. The authors report a prevalence of 11.6% for diabetes (4.5% by fasting plasma glucose ≥125 mg/dL and 4.6% by HbA1c ≥6.5%) and 50.1% for prediabetes (35.4% by HbA1c ≥5.7%-6.4% and 27.2% by fasting plasma glucose ≥100-125 mg/dL, ). Among those with diabetes, only 30% had been previously diagnosed and only 26% were treated. Among those treated, only 40% had HbA1c concentrations lower than 7%.1