AsianScientist (Jan. 16, 2018) – Researchers in China have revealed a rise in the number of Chinese being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, with adults accounting for most of the new cases. The BMJ study represents the first nationwide survey of type 1 diabetes in recent years.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Weng Jianping at The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University set out to investigate the incidence of type 1 diabetes in all age groups in China from 2010-2013. Their study population covered more than 133 million people—which is approximately 10 percent of the Chinese population—of which 6 percent was under 15 years old.
The researchers estimate that the incidence of type 1 diabetes in both children and adults in China was among the lowest reported globally during that period, at 1.01 new cases per 100,000 person years for all ages, and at 1.93 new cases per 100,000 person years for ages 0-14 years.
Nevertheless, they discovered that more than 13,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes occur every year in China, out of which more than 9,000 occur in people aged 15 or older.
The study also showed that the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children aged 0-14 years was strongly correlated with latitude, with higher rates in the north and lower rates in the south; such a correlation was not seen in those aged 15 or older. The study did not identify what genetic or environmental factors were responsible for this observation.
The authors point to certain limitations in their study. For example, their survey included a higher proportion of urban dwellers, which could confound the link between type 1 diabetes and the environment. It was also possible that some cases were missing or misdiagnosed, they pointed out.
“These findings highlight the importance of care for people with adult-onset type 1 diabetes—more resources should be provided to improve the care of this group. Our results not only provide an update to the global map of type 1 diabetes in childhood, but also fill in the blanks for the incidence of adult-onset type 1 diabetes,” the researchers said.
The article can be found at: Weng et al. (2018) Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in China, 2010-13: Population Based Study.
Source: BMJ; Photo: Shutterstock.
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