A new analysis published by The Sage Group has concluded that 42–60 million Chinese citizens are afflicted by peripheral artery disease (PAD), with 5.6–6.3 million suffering from the most severe form of PAD, critical limb ischaemia (CLI).
“China is known as the diabetes capital of the world,” stated Mary L Yost, president of The Sage Group. “According to our estimates, it is also the PAD capital of the world with the highest disease prevalence. China likely leads in the number with CLI. We believe that PAD represents a major, underestimated problem for the Chinese economy and healthcare system.”
“Although it is commonly believed that PAD is a ‘western’ disease with a significantly lower prevalence in Asians, our research indicates this is not the case. One of the key reasons is that there are ethnic differences in the threshold value of ankle brachial index, which lead to underestimation of PAD prevalence in countries such as Japan and China,” Yost explained.
Commenting on PAD risk factors in China, Yost observed, “Over the last 20 years, diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease have increased dramatically. Prevalence of these cardiovascular risk factors has risen to levels almost equivalent to the USA. Although China’s population is currently younger than the USA, Japan and Western Europe, its population is ageing rapidly. Furthermore, the prevalence of smoking, the strongest risk factor for PAD, is considerably higher than in the USA and Europe. Exposure to second-hand smoke is widespread.”