Salient to Investors:

The Journal of the AMA reports:

  • 11.6% of China’s adults has diabetes, up from 9.7% – an increase the size of the population of Australia – in 2007, and versus 11.3% in the US.
  • 1 in 3 diabetes sufferers globally is in China.
  • Half of adults in China have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, which put them in a pre-diabetic state. For every person in China diagnosed with diabetes, at least two more will be unaware they have it.
  • Pre-diabetes was present in 40% of adults ages 18 to 29, and 47% among those 30 to 39.
  • The average BMI in China was 23.7, versus 28.7 in the US. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, and a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • Changes in diet and physical activity stoked by rapid economic development are resulting in an earlier onset of the disease.
  • The epidemic will worsen with 40% of 18-to-29-year-olds on the verge of developing diabetes, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.

Paul Zimmet at the International Diabetes Federation and BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Institute said diabetes in China has become a catastrophe, and the problem could bankrupt the health system.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates there are 371 million people worldwide with the disease, including 92.3 million in China.

Juliana Chan at Chinese University of Hong Kong said rapid lifestyle changes in China have caused rising trends in obesity, bringing out the abnormality of a people biologically more vulnerable to diabetes. Chan said many people think diabetes mainly affects the elderly, but China has a very unhealthy young population that may lose their ability to work in the prime of their lives.

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