Chinese patients with diabetes have the highest world-wide rate of incidence of, and mortality from, cardiovascular complications. According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the co-existence of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease more than 50%. More than half of Chinese patients admitted after a stroke are found to have diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure, and nephrosis is an enormous threat to diabetes patients. Diabetes-related kidney disease accounts for 10-30% of diabetes-related deaths and the earlier the onset of diabetes, the higher the risk of developing kidney disease.
Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes - studies suggest that up to 50% of diabetics are affected. Neuropathy can lead to sensory loss and limb damage, and is a major cause of impotence in diabetic men. One of the most costly complications of diabetes is foot disease, especially in communities with inadequate footwear. Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation of the lower limb. This may be prevented by regular inspection and good care of the foot.
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness and visual disability. ...
In developing countries treatment is inaccessible to the majority of the population.
Psychological symptoms are common to those who suffer from diabetes for five years or more - more than 90% of diabetics experience some kind of mental crisis. In China, more than 20% of Type 2 diabetics also suffer from depressive symptoms. Symptoms are linked to the incurable nature of the disease and complications, as well as the fact that diabetics must carefully monitor their diet and treatment. The risk of developing depressive symptoms increases over time.
Obesity and overweight are major risk factors in developing diabetes, because these conditions have a strong effect on insulin resistance. A survey conducted on obese diabetic patients demonstrated that an increase in BMI1 from 22 to 23 -25 increases the incidence of diabetes by a factor of four. With a BMI of 35 or more, patients are 40 times more likely to become diabetic. The Da Qing IGT and diabetes study (Table 4) shows the incidence of Type 2 diabetes during a six year follow-up period. There is a fourfold increase in incidence of diabetes in those with a BMI 27 compared to those with a BMI 24. Clearly, higher BMI increases the risk of diabetes.
In Asian countries BMI is a less reliable indicator of disease, because the WHO criteria for obesity are based on Caucasian populations. A Hong Kong study shows that using the WHO criteria, the prevalence of obesity in Japan and China was 3%. While there are many indications that the risk of Type 2 diabetes is closely related to BMI and waist circumference in the Chinese population, this risk emerges with a smaller increase in BMI and waist circumference