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Japan's diabetic population soars to record 10m

Aging population, obesity seen as major causes

Inadequate exercise and unhealthy eating habits are seen as major culprits behind Japan's increase in diabetes.

TOKYO -- Japan's number of suspected diabetics hit 10 million for the first time last year, according to health ministry estimates released Thursday, with the increase attributed to growing obesity rates and an aging public.

These patient numbers rose by 500,000 since the last assessment in 2012. Japan had 6.9 million diabetes patients in 1997 when the ministry began issuing such estimates, and the number has risen steadily. The ministry collects data on diabetics every four to five years as part of its annual national health and nutrition survey.

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