Tianjin And Shanghai Join Cities Changing Diabetes On World Diabetes Day

Bagsværd, Denmark, 14 November 2014 – Today, on World Diabetes Day, the Chinese cities of Tianjin and Shanghai join the Cities Changing Diabetes initiative and the global fight against the urban diabetes epidemic. These two major metropolitan centres are the first Chinese cites to become part of the global partnership programme, which was initiated in Mexico City in March 2014, followed by Copenhagen in Europe and Houston in the United States last week.

Read More

New numbers released today estimate 387 million people worldwide have diabetes today and more than two thirds hereof live in urban areas.1 Globally, those who live in cities are two to five times more likely to have type 2 diabetes.2 Cities Changing Diabetes is a first-of-its-kind collaboration to gather public and private partners to identify practical long-term solutions. The programme seeks to understand the root causes behind the rise in type 2 diabetes in cities and use that knowledge to share and recommend effective interventions.

Diabetes in Tianjin and Shanghai

With 96 million people with diabetes, China has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world.3 More than half of the people with diabetes live in cities, and Shanghai and Tianjin rank among the largest urban areas in China. Tianjin’s population has doubled since 1995 to around 11 million people4 and an estimated 9.5% now suffering from diabetes.5 In Shanghai, with a population of 23.86 million people, it is estimated that 12.6% have diabetes.7

The People’s Municipal Government of Shanghai and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning are committed to tackle the growing urban diabetes challenge. As a consequence, the city is taking active measures to increase the focus on prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. Shanghai therefore  welcomes relevant input based on academic research and innovative partnerships.

In Tianjin, the government  is very committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, which are key factors in tackling type 2 diabetes. The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative fits well into the National Health and Planning Commission’s agenda and will support other initiatives to halt the progress of type 2 diabetes.

The Tianjin Medical Association and the Shanghai Diabetes Institute will lead the initial research for Cities Changing Diabetes in collaboration with the global academic institution, University College London (UCL) from the UK.

“The Cities Changing Diabetes partnership will provide a solid foundation for identifying future initiatives of high impact to tackle urban diabetes in Shanghai” said Professor Jia Weiping of the Shanghai Diabetes institute.

“I am confident the city of Tianjin will benefit significantly in the fight against type 2 diabetes by participating in Cities Changing Diabetes” said Mr. Xiong Zhi, Secretary General of the Tianjin Medical Association.

Lars Rebien Sørensen, chief executive officer of Novo Nordisk welcomed the global leadership the two significant cities are showing in the fight against urban diabetes: “It is my hope that by working in partnership through Cities Changing Diabetes, we can complement and support the cities’ objective to reduce the growing type 2 diabetes burden and tackle this urgent problem”.


Cities Changing  Diabetes is an ambitious partnership programme to fight the urban diabetes challenge. According to new numbers released today by the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, it is estimated that 592 million will have diabetes by 2035. Today, nearly two-thirds of all people with diabetes live in cities, and people who move to cities have a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who remain in rural settings.

The aim of Cities Changing  Diabetes is to map the problem in selected urban areas, to share learning and solutions and to drive action to fight the diabetes challenge in cities across the world. University College London (UCL) is the global academic partner for the programme that also includes Steno Diabetes Center, a world-leading institution in diabetes care and prevention in Denmark, and Novo Nordisk.

For more information, visit CitiesChangingDiabetes.com, #UrbanDiabetes and @CitiesDiabetes


Every 14 November, Novo Nordisk partners with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in support of the United Nations Resolution on Diabetes. On this day, employees, partners, people with diabetes and the general public unite with a call to change diabetes.

The date, 14 November, was chosen because it is the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1921. Since the adoption of the United Nations Resolution on diabetes in December 2006, World Diabetes Day has become an official United Nations World Health Day.

Read more about the campaign driven by the International  Diabetes Federation. For more information on World Diabetes Day 2014 and to join the fight against urban diabetes, visit bit.ly/urbanwdd or follow

@NovoNordisk and use #UrbanDiabetes and/or #WDD2014 online.


Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,000 employees in 75 countries, and markets its products in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.com.

Visit novonordisk.com for photos and b-roll supporting this press release.


Novo Nordisk A/S, Media Relations Katrine Sperling, +45 3079 6718 krsp@novonordisk.com

  1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014 update.
  2. Mbanya  JC et al. Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. Lancet 2010; 375(9733):2254–2266
  3. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014.
  4. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Urbanization  Prospects, the 2014 Revision
  5. Xu W. et al. Detection of Prediabetes and Undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes: A Large Population-Based Study, Can J of Diabetes 2012 (36):108-113
  6. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Urbanization  Prospects, the 2014 Revision.
  7. Li, R, Increasing Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Adults in Shanghai, Diabetes Care 35:1028-1030, 2012

Press release

Danish release

Download B-Roll Video

Right Click and Select "SAVE-AS" to download the above Video

Related documents

Fact Sheet

Related links

Novo Nordisk
UCL (University College London)
Steno Diabetes Center


Social media