Did you know?

China has the world’s largest diabetes epidemic, and it continues to grow at a fearsome pace. Rapidly rising rates of diabetes have been seen in previous studies, and the most recent research found that China has overtaken the USA in terms of diabetes prevalence: according to the latest data, 11.6% of Chinese adults have diabetes. The Chinese diabetes population stands at some 114 million people — about a third of all people with diabetes. The authors of this study warned of the enormous strain on the country’s public health system.1

Perhaps more worryingly, the study also found that out of 99,000 people surveyed, half had pre-diabetes blood glucose levels – abnormally high but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. The researchers’ projections suggest that there are 493.4 million with pre-diabetes. These findings indicate the enormity of diabetes as a public health problem in China.People with diabetes already shoulder a heavy economic burden. Another study found that health costs were dramatically higher for people with diabetes than for people without the disease.2

1. Yu Xu, Limin Wang, Jiang He, et al. Prevalence and Control of Diabetes in Chinese Adults. JAMA 2013; 310(9): 948-59.
2. Yang W, Zhao W, Xiao J, et al. Medical care and payment for diabetes in China: enormous threat and great opportunity. PLoS ONE; 7: e39513..


Capital city (1): 
Population in 1.000.000 (1): 
Urban population (1): 
Rate of urbanization per year (1): 
Life expectancy in years (1): 
GDP per capita (1): 
GDP real growth rate (2012): 
Men aged ≥20 years who are obese (2008) (2): 
Women aged ≥20 years who are obese (2008) (2): 
Diabetes comparative prevalence WHO standard (2011) (3): 
Health expenditure (1): 
Mean diabetes-related expenditure per person with diabetes (3): 
421,00 USD

(1): CIA factbook
(2): WHO 2008
(3): IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition annual update, 2012

Bridges is an International Diabetes Programme supported by an educational grant from Lilly Diabetes