Tianjin takes diabetes prevention and control very seriously, investing in scientific research, clinical treatment, and community health centres. This work is paying off, yet the diabetes population is still growing. It’s a long journey requiring the collaboration of multiple partners, including city leaders and planners, the social sector, and academic partners; that’s why we’re pleased to be a part of Cities Changing Diabetes.
Wang Hesheng, Director for Tianjin Health & Family Planning Commission
Tianjin is China’s 4th most populous city, with roughly 16m residents1
The city is home to almost all of China’s 55 minorities2
15.7% of kids and teens aged 7-18 are obese3
In recent years Tianjin has invested significantly in infrastructure, economic development, jobs and healthcare. However, emissions from industry and fossil fuels has led to poor air quality4, and a combination of risk factors, such as sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, smoking and alcohol consumption, have made non-communicable diseases (NCDs) the city’s top health threat.
Reducing obesity: an opportunity for change in Tianjin
Without action, the increase of adult obesity in Tianjin will continue along current trends. However, if weight distribution were to remain at 2017 levels and we could reduce the rate of obesity by 25%, Tianjin would see 300,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and save 149 million dollars in healthcare expenditure by 2045.5
As the first Chinese city to join the programme, the focus in Tianjin has been to improve diabetes care in community health centres. Research showed that cultural beliefs and poor access to treatment5,6,7 significantly impact people’s ability to manage their diabetes. A partnership to provide GP training is now building diabetes capacity and skills, enabling GPs to reach more people earlier in the course of their disease. The programme is part of a wider effort to strengthen the overall city health system.
2. Tianjin the third Largest City in China. 2015. http://english.enorth.com.cn/FnMM.htm
3. Andegiorgish A K, Wang J, Zhang X, et al. Prevalence of overweight, obesity, and associated risk factors among school children and adolescents in Tianjin, China. European Journal of Pediatrics, 2012
4. WEF. World Economic Forum. The Future of Urban Development Initiative: Tianjin Champion City Strategy. 2013
5. Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Tianjin. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark2017.
6. Zhang W, Kang L. State of Urban Community Health Centers in China: Nursing and Patient Perspectives (Observations on Challenges and Implications of Reform). 2012.
7. Tianjin – Live pollution and air quality report. 2015.