Type 2 diabetes in China: Partnerships in education and research to evaluate new antidiabetic treatments

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Journal Article
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2006, 61 (6), pp. 702 - 705
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There are 40 million people with diabetes in China, and the projected increase in the rates of obesity and premature cardiovascular disease is alarming. Most patients prefer to combine traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine, but there is little or no information about the risks and benefits of this approach. Traditional Chinese medicine identifies three patterns of 'depletion-thirst' syndrome and therapy is aimed at reversing the deficiency in yin and qi, using a combination of products tailored to the symptoms and clinical features of individual patients. In Western medicine a number of new oral and injectable antidiabetic therapies are likely to enter routine clinical practice over the next 5 years, for example long-acting GLP-1 analogues, DPP-IV inhibitors and dual PPAR-α, PPAR-γ agonists. To make best use of these agents in China and to promote diabetes education and health service development, there is a need for improved communication and collaboration between universities and hospitals both inside and outside China; and Western pharmacologists and clinicians need a better understanding of traditional Chinese medicine. There are several examples of institutional cooperation that should further diabetes research in China, for example the Beijing Chaoyang Diabetes Hospital linked with Imperial College, London, and the University of Nottingham, which has a new campus in Ningbo, south of Shanghai. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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