Survey: Hypertension, diabetes among key rising chronic diseases in China

Hypertension afflicted 25.2% of China's adult population and diabetes 9.7%, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. That's according to a survey conducted by the National Health and Family Planning Commission over a decade that jibes with other recent public policy healthcare reform efforts by the State Council.

Those figures were said to be higher than those in the first-ever such report--which was compiled between 1992 and 2002 and released in 2004--but no comparisons were immediately available.

Also, the results of the "2015 report on Chinese nutrition and chronic disease" carried out from 2002 to 2012. That title was not immediately available on the commission's English-language website. However, a summary to the "2014 report on Chinese resident's chronic disease and nutrition" and released on June 15 was there with the same figures.

In both cases--Xinhua and the website summary--the numbers were alarming.

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rate among those of 40 years old and above was 9.9%," the report said after earlier noting that China has 300 million smokers and 9.3% of its population were classified as excessive drinkers.

"China saw cancer prevalence rates rise over the past 20 years. The rate was 235 out of 100,000 people, as was showed by the national tumor registration. Lung cancer is the most frequently-occurring cancer among men, and breast cancer among women."

The summary noted that the government pays great attention to chronic disease prevention and control, as well as nutrition improvement.

"The NHFPC and relevant departments will take powerful and effective measures to curb the frequent occurrence of chronic disease and continue to improve nutrition and health conditions," the summary said. "They will join forces in environmental governance, tobacco control, physical fitness, nutrition improvement, food safety, and social assistance. The policy environment for sustainable development of chronic disease prevention and control is taking shape."

A report in June, also from Xinhua, said rising cardiovascular disease rates in China are directly linked to a change in diet as incomes drive up demand for processed meat with high salt content, creating a heavier population.

The report cited World Health Organization data that about 230 million people have cardiovascular disease in China, with annual cardiovascular events predicted to increase by 50% between 2010 and 2030 based on population aging and growth alone.

Researchers needed 1.5 years to write the report, Xinhua said, adding that the data came from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Center and other institutes.

- here's the NHFPC report summary
- and related Xinhua stories on chronic diseases and obesity