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China - The George Institute for International Health

Map of China with Beijing, Hebei Province, Liaoning Province, Ningxia Province, Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province marked.

Center of Excellence

China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention (CICCDP)
The George Institute for International Health
Beijing, China
Principal Investigator: Yangfeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention

Center of Excellence Activity Sites

  • Hebei Province, China
  • Liaoning Province, China
  • Ningxia Province, China
  • Shaanxi Province, China
  • Shanxi Province, China

Developed Country Partner

Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Principal Investigator: Michael H. Merson, M.D.


Principal Investigator Yangfeng Wu

Principal Investigator Yangfeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D.

China is the largest developing nation in the world and has undergone dramatic social and economic changes over the last few decades, with a major shift in the pattern of diseases affecting China. China’s major health threats are chronic diseases, now accounting for more than three-quarters of all deaths. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are currently the leading cause of death in China, responsible for about 2.6 million deaths annually. By 2020, this figure is projected to increase to 4 million deaths per year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that the total cost of cardiovascular diseases in China in 2005 was US $250 billion with projections for an increase to US $460 billion by 2015.

Blood pressure is the single most important determinant of CVD in China and its importance is greatest in rural and northern regions where salt consumption and the incidence of stroke are both very high. It has been estimated that each 2 percent rise in population blood pressure levels in China results in an additional 500,000 strokes and other major cardiovascular events each year.


  • Implement targeted translational health care research projects that will have a measurable impact on important health outcomes in local communities.
  • Develop local leadership and capacity to ensure that change is ongoing and sustainable.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of addressing chronic diseases through advocacy and engagement with policy makers from the grassroots through senior national levels.

Research Activities

Principal Investigator Michael H. Merson, M.D.

Principal Investigator Michael H. Merson, M.D.

  • Evaluate the separate effects of two novel intervention programs targeting cardiovascular diseases in rural China through a large-scale flagship multicenter research study, the China Rural Health Initiative.
    • Healthcare Provider Program, a primary care-based program seeking to enhance the identification and medical management of individuals at high cardiovascular risk.
    • Community Education Program, a community-based education program seeking to reduce overall salt consumption in the population.

The study will be an open cluster-randomized trial with blinded assessment of endpoints. A total of 100 villages from five regions of rural China will participate.

TrainingChinese farmer

  • Doctoral and Postdoctoral: Identification, training, and mentoring of new investigators. Selected candidates will be offered the opportunity to complete doctoral studies and undertake training at the new Center of Excellence in Beijing or at one of the developed country partner institutions. Short training courses of two to five days will also be conducted for groups of 10 to 20 individuals. The overall goal is to provide training opportunities that will lead to a new cadre of mid- and high-level researchers addressing chronic diseases in China.
  • Senior government and ministry officials: Training in the importance of chronic diseases and optimal treatment and prevention strategies via annual health policy roundtables, involvement of senior policy makers in the planning and implementation stages of program research initiatives, and participation of senior bureaucrats on the Center’s advisory board.

Other Partner Organizations

Peking University Health Sciences Center
Beijing, China
Principal Investigator: Qide Han, M.D.

China Medical University
Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China
Principal Investigator: Jingpu Shi, M.D.

Xi’an Jiaotong University
Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, China
Principal Investigator: Ruijuan Zhang, M.D.

Hebei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, China
Principal Investigator: Jianxin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Ningxia Medical University
Yinchuan City, Ningxia Province, China
Principal Investigator: Yuhong Zhang, M.D.

Changzhi Medical College
Changzhi City, Shanxi Province, China
Principal Investigator: Xiangxian Feng, M.D., M.P.H.

The George Institute for International Health
Sydney, Australia
Principal Investigator: Stephen MacMahon, D.Sc., Ph.D.

The University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Principal Investigator: Stephen Leeder, M.D., Ph.D.

The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia
Principal Investigator: Alan Lopez, Ph.D.

Imperial College
London, United Kingdom
Principal Investigator: Paul Elliot, Ph.D.


The Center of Excellence in China receives funding from UnitedHealth Group and the NHLBI.

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Last Updated: August 27, 2012

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