Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in China

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008 Jan;116(1):69-70. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-985381. Epub 2007 Oct 31.


Purpose: To investigate the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in China.

Methods: The Beijing Eye Study 2006 is a population-based investigation including 3251 subjects aged 45+ years. Anthropometric measurements and blood biochemical analyses were performed for 2960 (91.0%) subjects.

Results: Defining diabetes mellitus as fasting glucose concentrations > or =7.0 mmol/L (detected in 227 subjects (prevalence rate: 7.67+/-0.49%)) or self-reported diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (154 subjects), 381 subjects were diabetic (prevalence rate: 12.87+/-0.62%). Within the diabetic group, 246 (64.6%) subjects were on diabetic diet or on additional anti-diabetic therapy, 205 (53.8%) subjects took oral anti-diabetic medication, and 44 (11.5%) subjects were on insulin therapy. Systemic complications due to diabetes mellitus were reported by 64 (16.8%) subjects. In multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus was significantly associated with higher age, higher body mass index, higher systolic blood pressure, higher triglyceride concentrations, and lower high-density lipoprotein level. In addition, the diabetic subjects came significantly (P<0.001) more often from the urban region.

Conclusions: This prevalence figure translates into more than 30 million diabetic individuals in China. Compared with previous studies, it suggests an increasing diabetes prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides