The prevalence for diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes in Vietnam are low relative to other parts of the world, but they are increasing at alarming rates. These changes have occurred in the setting of economic and cultural transitions.
The aim of this study was to provide relevant information depicting the diabetes burden in Vietnam.
Literature was reviewed using PubMed and local Vietnamese sources, including papers published in the Vietnamese language.
In 2012, the prevalence of diabetes was 5.4% and prediabetes 13.7%. In 2005, the prevalence of obesity was 1.7%. There is a dual burden of over- and undernutritionobserved in Vietnam. Diabetes is associated with an increased waist-to-hip ratio despite normal body mass index. Nutritional transitions occurred with increased protein, fat, and fast foods, and with decreased fresh fruits and vegetables. Tobacco use is very high in Vietnam with 66% of adult men currently smoking. Challenges include endocrinology training, health care coverage, patient education, and lack of coordination among government and specialist agencies.
Diabetes is a growing problem in Vietnam and is associated with obesity, changes in dietary patterns, and other cultural transitions. More research is needed to better understand this health care problem and to devise targeted interventions.