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Neurological Letter From China
  1. Ming Liu
  1. Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China; Email: wyplmh{at}hotmail.com

    Abstract

    GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT CHINA

    China has the largest population in the world: 1.2 billion people. Due to the extensive and effective effort to improve the public health since 1949, and rapid economic growth during the past 20 years, the health of Chinese people has improved substantially. As a result, the population is not only huge but also ageing. The proportion of the population aged 65 and above is presently 7% (13% in Beijing and 14% in Shanghai), but it is predicted that by the year 2015 this group will account for 10% of the population. Life expectancy at birth is 73 years for females, 69 years for males, and 71 years overall.

    The disease pattern of communicable diseases that dominated before the 1980s has begun to change to a pattern of non-communicable diseases that dominates currently. Non-communicable diseases rank as the top cause of mortality and morbidity in China.

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