China’s Annual $26 Billion Diabetes Bill to Skyrocket, Researchers Report

Bloomberg reports on the economic costs of China’s looming diabetes epidemic:

Diabetes accounts for about 13 percent of medical expenditures in China, the International Diabetes Federation said in a statement distributed before a media briefing in Beijing today to mark World Diabetes Day. The finding is based on preliminary data from a nationwide survey completed in August.

China’s diabetics report three to four times more hospitalizations, out-patient and emergency-room visits than people without the condition, scientists from the Brussels-based federation and the Chinese Diabetes Society said. Their research follows a March study that showed China has 92.4 million people with diabetes, more than twice as many as previously estimated, and the most in the world.

“Diabetes prevalence is skyrocketing in China and people are getting diabetes at a younger age,” the federation said. “China has a window of real opportunity to prevent an epidemic of serious diabetes complications, which will increase spending dramatically.”


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