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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 178675, 5 pages
Review Article

The Emerging Epidemic of Obesity, Diabetes, and the Metabolic Syndrome in China

1Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3Center for Heart Disease Prevention, Emory University School of Medicine, 1365 Clifton Road, NE Building A, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Received 24 June 2011; Accepted 27 July 2011

Academic Editor: Martin Thoenes

Copyright © 2012 Jia Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


China is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Rapid economic progress has resulted in changes to both diet and physical activity. New found prosperity, increased urban migration, and the adoption of sedentary lifestyles by an aging Chinese population have resulted in a dramatic shift in disease burden—from infectious to chronic. Modern Chinese find themselves increasingly afflicted with the same noncommunicable chronic diseases typical of industrialized nations. Today, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of both morbidity and mortality, affecting both rural and urban Chinese. The rising incidence of cardiovascular disease has been fueled by an epidemic of cardiometabolic risk factors. While hypertension and smoking have received considerable spotlight, little attention has been given to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Their increasing prevalence is the focus of this paper.