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China's Chronic Disease Challenge

260 million people from mainland China now suffer from a chronic disease condition such as diabetes because of lifestyle factors including smoking, lack of exercise and a high-fat diet. Apart from the particularly high smoking rate, most other developed nations have similar risk profiles. Yet the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) reports that 85% of deaths each year in China are from chronic illness, significantly more than anywhere else in the developed world. Why is this?
China has begun a dramatic overhaul of its public healthcare system aimed at broadening access and improving affordability. One of the five core objectives of this reform is to develop a primary care system which should reduce the burden of chronic disease.

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22nd November 2013