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Report:  Growing Diabetes Epidemic in China


A new study says China now has the world's largest population of diabetics.

A report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine says more than 92 million men and women have been diagnosed with the disease, an average of one out of 10 adults in China. That number puts China ahead of India for the number of people with diabetes.

The report says another 148 million Chinese citizens are pre-diabetic.

For the study, researchers tested more than 46,000 adults 20 years old or older in 14 provinces and municipalities between 2007 and 2008.

The report says China's booming economy has led to major dietary changes, as people indulge in high calorie diets and get less exercise, leading to a rise in obesity.

Diabetes is more common among Chinese city dwellers than rural citizens.

The disease occurs when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar. It is a major factor in such illnesses as blindness, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure, and could be fatal if not treated properly.

The World Health Organization has estimated that China will spend $558 billion between 2006-2015 treating diabetes-related illnesses.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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