Article Abstract

The diabetes epidemic in China is a public health emergency: the potential role of prenatal exposure

Authors: Paul Z. Zimmet, Assam El-Osta, Zumin Shi


Diabetes mellitus is one of the largest epidemics the world has ever faced (1). Globally, the number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus has more than doubled over the past 20 years. The most recent global estimate from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is that in 2015 there were 415 million people with diabetes and that by 2040 the number will be 642 million (2). The global health expenditure was estimated at US$673 billion. The IDF estimates of the number of people with diabetes, and therefore the economic costs to society, are imprecise and underestimate the disease burden (3). It is very likely that both are significant underestimates.