A new finding, from the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration (APCSC) and published in the AsiaPacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that up to 12 percent of cardiovascular deaths in the region (heartdisease and stroke) are due to diabetes.
Given that in the year 2000 an estimated 83 million people in the Asia-Pacific region were living with type2 diabetes, representing almost half of the 171 million people with diabetes worldwide, these findingshighlight the huge impact that diabetes prevention and awareness campaigns could have in the area. InAustralia alone, diabetes is responsible for 4,000 fatal heart attacks and strokes each year. In India,which has the largest number of individuals with diabetes, more than 150,000 cardiovascular deaths aredue to diabetes and in China, 70,000 cardiovascular deaths are due to diabetes.
Dr Alexandra Martiniuk, at The George Institute for International Health (which acts as the APCSCSecretariat) said, “This study from the APCSC demonstrates that diabetes is causing more deaths thanpreviously realised. Our research has shown the reduction in deaths from heart disease and stroke thatcould be achieved if diabetes is accurately measured, monitored and controlled in this region.”APCSC researchers found that the fraction of deaths from heart disease, as a result of diabetes, reachedup to 12% in certain countries (Tonga). High levels were also found in South Korea, Hong Kong andThailand (over 8%). The study also showed that diabetes causes a high percentage of stroke-relateddeaths (both haemorrhagic and ischaemic) in Tonga (12%), South Korea and Hong Kong (8%)
Researchers used recent data on diabetes from more than half a million adult participants in the APCSCto determine the risks for heart disease and stroke attributable to diabetes. The APCSC is the largesteverpartnership and study of cardiovascular disease in the Asian region. Project partners include manymedical institutions across the Asia Pacific region. The collaboration’s primary goal is to provide direct,reliable evidence about the determinants of stroke, coronary heart disease, and other common causes ofdeath in Asia-Pacific populations. It aims to produce region-, age- and gender-specific estimates of thecardiovascular disease risks associated with blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and other major riskfactors.