Diabetes to Increase in Asia

Diabetes cases are dramatically on the rise in countries throughout Asia. The financially privileged city-dwellers tend to be the ones who have been identified as diabetics. Causes include insufficient exercise, high fat diets that have increasingly incorporated fast food items, genetics and more.

A number of studies have attempted to record the current count of diabetics in countries including India, Vietnam, Thailand and China. The WHO has warned that India’s diabetics will rapidly grow from roughly 40 million (4% of the population) to 80 million (8% of the population) by 2030. Vietnam and Thailand are experiencing similar paths of diabetic development. 8.5 million in Vietnam and 6.5 million in Thailand (10% of their respective populations) are currently suffering from this condition.

China, in sheer numbers, has the largest population of diabetics in any one country. Already 92 million are inflicted with diabetes, and 180 million more are on the cusp of developing it. The increase of overweight children in Beijing is worrying many observers as roughly 1 in 3 are now “clinically” overweight. China’s bout with diabetes is also alarming when considering the high rates of tuberculosis. Diabetes significantly exacerbates the symptoms of tuberculosis. These and other signs have prompted the Chinese government to increase the ways in which it tries to control the increase of diabetes. Recently, the Chinese Medical Association and the Chinese Medical Doctors Association issued the “China Medical Nutrition Therapy Guideline for Diabetes 2010” to raise awareness about diabetes.

Education on the causes of diabetes is vital to changing this trend. But as things stand, the number of medical drugs and devices is sure to dramatically increase to combat diabetes in Asia.