Study Predicts New Health Threats for China as It Grows Richer

by Rukmani Krishna on  June 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
According to a study to be published Saturday in a leading medical journal, with threats to health including diet, pollution and city living, the Chinese are increasingly facing diseases of affluence such as cancer.
 Study Predicts New Health Threats for China as It Grows Richer
Study Predicts New Health Threats for China as It Grows Richer

The trends identified in The Lancet, mined from data from 1990 to 2010, illustrate the human impact of China's speedy development and urbanisation.

"Looking back to 1990, China had a health profile very similar to much of the developing world, including countries such as Vietnam or Iraq," said one of three institutes involved in the study.

"It now looks more like the US, UK or Australia in some respects," the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said in a statement.

Among the advances, The Lancet said, were "striking declines in fertility and child mortality and increases in life expectancy at birth".

China's life expectancy has risen from 69.3 in 1990 to 75.7 to 2010, lifting it one spot to 12th place among G20 countries.

Child deaths saw a dramatic drop over the same period from one million to 213,000.

But new health troubles were emerging as more people lived longer and in cities -- which could bring better medical care but also more pollution and a sedentary lifestyle.

Leading causes of health problems in China now include stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, low back pain and road injury.

Other top risk factors are tobacco use, dietary risks, high blood pressure, ambient air pollution and household air pollution.

"The rapid rise of non-communicable diseases driven by urbanisation, rising incomes and ageing poses major challenges for China's health system, as does a shift to chronic disability," the report said.

China was "relatively unique" in that five cancers -- lung, liver, stomach, esophageal and colorectal -- ranked in the top 15 causes of premature death.

The study was undertaken by the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Peking Union Medical College and IHME.

Source: AFP

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All

More News on: