India, recently considered the country with the largest diabetic population in the world following WHO (World Health Organisation) and IDF (International Diabetes Federation) estimates, may have lost the top spot to China.
New estimates of the scale of the problem in China, which is the world’s most populous natio, estimate the diabetes figure at around 30 million diabetics, according to one expert from the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion.
Previously, the diabetes figure estimated for China by the World Health Organisation was around 20 million. However, at the time of this estimate (2000), Chinese experts from the Ministry of Health objected, claiming that the figure came from data collated a decade previously.
Prevalence in China, according to the WHO, remains lower than prevalence in India, which still shows the highest global rate of prevalence. Experts were quick to highlight flaws in the validity of all estimates in developing countries that have a rural/urban split. The problem comes when urban data is extrapolated onto rural populations, where prevalence is different. The news comes following the introduction of a new network in India, entitled the Indian Network for Non-Communicable Diseases.

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