More than 92 million Chinese people are now diabetic—even though 61 percent of them have yet to be diagnosed, according to the China Daily/Asia News Network. This makes China now the epicenter for the global diabetes epidemic. According to Bloomberg news, China's diabetes-related medical costs total nearly $26 billion annually and are expected to grow astronomically over the next 10 to 20 years.
The fact that so many diabetic Chinese live without being properly diagnosed and treated presents an even more serious health crisis for the country. Failure to treat diabetes increases the risk of vision and kidney complications, stroke and limb amputation.
"A combination of poor public awareness and limited access to early detection services are largely responsible for the low diagnostic rate on the mainland," Ji Linong, head of the Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS), said on Nov. 14 during an event marking World Diabetes Day. "The government should spend more on services to intervene and prevent diabetes."