Type 2 diabetes mellitus incidence in Chinese: contributions of overweight and obesity

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015 Mar;107(3):424-32. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2014.09.059. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Aims: To estimate the incidence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the number of those with T2DM attributable to overweight and obesity in China.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study among 15680 participants (46.4%, men) aged 35-74 years. The mean duration of follow-up was 8.0 years. We examined the relationship between overweight, obesity and risk of T2DM by Cox proportional hazards models. Population attributable risk (PAR) of overweight and obesity was also calculated. Moreover, we estimated the number of T2DM events attributed to overweight and obesity using PAR, incidence of T2DM and the population size of China in 2010.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 8.0 years, the age-standardized incidence of T2DM was 9.5 per 1000 person-years in men and 9.2 in women. Overweight accounted for 28.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 20.1, 36.2) of incident T2DM among men and 31.3% (95% CI: 25.5, 36.9) among women. The corresponding PAR of obesity was 10.1% (95% CI: 6.0, 14.2) among men and 16.8% (95% CI: 12.0, 21.6) among women. Approximately 3.32 million (95% CI: 2.47, 4.24) incident T2DM were attributable to overweight and obesity in Chinese adults who were 35 to 74 years in 2010.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that incident T2DM is mainly attributable to overweight and obesity in China. It is extremely important to advocate healthy lifestyle and prevent excessive weight gain for reducing T2DM burden in China.

Keywords: Obesity body mass index; Overweight; Population attributable risk; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Mass Index
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors