According to the study, diabetes has become a major public health crisis in China, with an annual projected cost of 360 billion RMB (nearly 35 billion British pounds) by 2030 and a new collaborative approach to care that uses registries and community support could help improve diabetes care.
The study found that China has the largest number of people with diabetes of any country in the world, and the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the adult population. In 1980, less than 1 percent of Chinese adults had diabetes, but this increased to almost 12 percent (113.9 million adults) by 2010. Latest estimates indicate that around half of Chinese adults have prediabetes, putting them at high risk of diabetes and multiple related illnesses.
The researchers said that especially alarming is that most adults with diabetes are undiagnosed (70 percent of all cases), only a quarter of people with diabetes have received treatment and that the disease is controlled in just 40 percent of those treated.
Over the past 30 years, China's standard of living and life expectancy have improved for many, but the ageing population, dietary changes, reduced physical activity, and exceptionally high rates of smoking have contributed to the diabetes epidemic. The health consequences of this epidemic threaten to overwhelm health-care systems and urgent action is needed.