Delivering the most current and unique insights on healthcare trends

Thought leaders and data are available for media use on a number of topics relating to health and wellness, including patient population sizes, treatment rates and patient-reported behaviors and attitudes.

Contact the media team:

Majority of Type 2 Diabetes Patients in Japan Are Not Overweight

Sep 6, 2016

New York, September 6, 2016 – Most patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Japan are not classified as overweight or obese according to new research conducted by Kantar Health, a leading global healthcare consulting and research firm. The research, drawn from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), will be presented today at the ISPOR 7th Asia-Pacific Conference in Singapore.

The International Diabetes Federation lists being overweight – having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 – as one of the major risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes. However, nearly 60% of people with type 2 diabetes in Japan have a BMI less than 25 kg/m2, with only 10% of patients being classified as being obese with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher. These numbers are essentially the inverse of the U.S. type 2 diabetes population, where only 14% have a BMI less than 25 kg/m2 and 60% are classified as obese.

“In 2008 Japan enacted a program that requires all citizens over the age of 40 to have their waistlines measured to identify whether they are at risk of developing a metabolic disease,” said Takashi Fukuda, Ph.D., Director at the National Institute of Public Health in Japan and a co-author of the study. “The hope was that the program would rein in the prevalence of diabetes given Japan’s rapidly aging population and skyrocketing health costs. This research shows that perhaps this is not the right measure to predict diabetes in Japan.”

“Because type 2 diabetes is occurring in patients who don’t meet the international definition of ‘overweight,’ Japan’s Ministry of Health and the healthcare community need to work on new measures that will help screen for the risk of diabetes,” said Andy Stankus, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Kantar Health. “NHWS data suggest that it might be necessary to lower the threshold weight for when patients in Japan need to consider themselves at risk for diabetes.

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study’s results were drawn from the 2014 Japan NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.  
Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 600+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. For more information, please visit