China is experiencing an uptick in diabetes related deaths, which appears tied to the expanding prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the world’s most populous country, according to a recent study by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
Researchers from Georgia State partnered with public health researchers in Shanghai, China’s largest city, to analyze death certificates of 2,654 diabetics from 2002 through 2012.
Their research, “Mortality rates and the causes of death related to diabetes mellitus in Shanghai Songjiang District: an 11-year retrospective analysis of death certificates,” published recently in BMC Endocrine Disorders, found that the leading underlying causes of death among them were various cardiovascular diseases.
“[P]olicy makers should pay more attention to diabetes primary prevention to reduce the incidence rate while also placing a priority on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases to reduce the burden of diabetes on survival,” the researchers wrote.
The study’s authors included Dr. Dajun Dai, an associate professor with a joint appointment in Public Health and in the department of geosciences at Georgia State, Dr. Scott Weaver and Dr. Ruiyan Luo, assistant professors of epidemiology and biostatistics, and Dr. Christine Stauber, assistant professor of environmental health, at Georgia State’s School of Public Health.
The study notes that China has the second highest rate of diabetes in the world. While most people do not die from high blood glucose levels, diabetes causes complications — cardiovascular and kidney disease — that are deadly. Additionally, diabetes related deaths tend to be underreported worldwide.
The study’s authors also included Jiang Li, from the department of preventive medicine at Fudan University’s School of Public Health and Zhu Meiying, Zhiyaun Li, Wei Luo and Hua Fu, from the Shanghai Songjiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention.