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Diabetes casts shadow over half of Chinese adult population

Diana Tan

General Manager for China

Health 17.08.2017 / 08:50

Drug and sugar

About 10% Chinese adult are diabetes patients while another 36% of them are in the pre-diabetes stage.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the prevalence of diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) among Chinese adults hit 9.7% in 2012. The ministry-level agency said in its “China Resident Nutrition and Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Report (2015)” that the number of diabetes patients has hit 100 million and is a serious public health challenge.

In June 2017, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which showed that overall prevalence rates of diabetes reached 10.9% back in 2013, while the proportion of pre-diabetes was 36% among Chinese adults. The study quoted data from a nationally representative survey conducted in 2013 on Chinese mainland with 170,287 participants. These two numbers means nearly half (47%) of Chinese population are under the threat of, or already affected by, diabetes.

These rates are similar to those in the United Sates, where estimated prevalence is 12 – 14%, while pre-diabetes proportion is 36.5%.

Pre-diabetes means the person has blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes.

Even though there is no proven cure for diabetes, it has been widely acknowledged that lifestyle change can delay or prevent pre-diabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes. Diabetes patients can also benefit from lifestyle change to control the development and delay or prevent complications.

The changes of lifestyle is called “lifestyle therapy”, including:

-       Diet and exercise

  • Eat healthy
    • Limit foods high in fat and sugar
    • Vegetables, whole grains, lean meat
    • Watch alcohol consumption
  • Exercise
    • Any exercise to reduce sedentary levels
    • Goal is 30 mins a day

The rationale behind lifestyle therapy is simple:

Better diet can help achieve target levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and lipid goals. Exercise can achieve and maintain body weight goals. Together, lifestyle therapy can delay or prevent diabetes complications, such as heart disease, neuropathy (never damage), albuminuria, etc.

Lifestyle therapy is either used alone for pre-diabetes patients or forms part of the treatment plan for diabetes patients with medication.

Although lifestyle therapy is recommended throughout the type 2 diabetes patient journey, there is a lack of longitudinal data of the impact on weight, activity level, sleep and blood pressure. In addition, there is limited evidence as to the impact of lifestyle therapy on treatment management and patient outcomes, specifically as related to weight loss or gain.

While lifestyle therapy plays a role, diabetes treatments can also be associated with effects on weight loss or gain.

There is a clear need today for a powerful tool which combines attitudinal and evidence based data, helps managing weight and allows to link treatment management and HBA1C results.

This is why Kantar Health has teamed up with Nokia to launch the global Diametrics research.

Kantar Health And Nokia

The project will recruit type 2 diabetes patients in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany with Nokia connected health devices. They will be asked to collect longitudinal biometric data retrieved through Nokia smart wearable devices over the course of one year. They will also report any new treatment initiations and HBA1C levels each month and complete more in-depth questionnaires punctually throughout the year.

KH And Nokia Division Of Labour

Kantar Health and Nokia's responsiblities in the research

This research tracks biometric data with patient attitudes, perception and behavior. It will provide a unique and holistic perspective by integrating humanity and science. It will give deeper insight into patient behavior, helping pharma companies better understand areas where patients need support to achieve better outcomes.

Four Mobile Screen Shots 

This research has just started. To know more information and request a briefing on the early results, please contact us.

Source: Kantar Health

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