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January 17, 2017

China’s Burgeoning Epidemic of Diabetes-Associated Mortality

Author Affiliations
  • 1World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(3):264-266. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19736

Diabetes was not a health priority in China as recently as the 1980s, when prevalence in the adult population was estimated at only 1%.1 The first evidence that Asia’s rapidly developing economies might be poised for the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and associated complications appeared in the mid-1990s, when Pan et al2 documented a 3-fold increase in the prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 25 to 74 years within 1 decade. The authors associated the increasing prevalence of diabetes in China with economic development, arguing that higher body mass index, a family history of diabetes, hypertension, a sedentary lifestyle, and higher annual income were independent risk factors.