Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Diabetes Pandemic India...The World's Diabetes Epicentre

The Diabetes Pandemic is around.The International Diabetes Federation's atlas shows that diabetes now affects a staggering 246 million people worldwide, with 46% of all those affected in the 35-49 age group.The global prevalence of diabetes will go up from 8.6% in 2012 to 9.8 % in 2030 and the numbers of people affected with diabetes will go up from 285 million to 435 million.India leads the global top ten countries in terms of the highest number of people with diabetes with a current figure of approximately 50 million which is expected to rise to about 87 million in 2030,India has therefore ,been labelled as the "diabetes capital of the world ".

It is also startling that by 2025,every 5th person with diabetes in the world would be an Indian.There is data to suggest that diabetes occurs about a decade earlier compared to Europeans.The Urban and Rural Prevalence of diabetes is between 6-8% and 2.5-3.5% respectively.Another hidden threat taking the proportion of an epidemic is Prediabetes with Global Prevalence being 7.9% (344 million people) in 2010,expected to rise to 8.4%(472 million people) by 2030.There is also a high risk of conversion of Prediabetes  to diabetes.

The age of onset of diabetes in Asian Indians is usually a decade or more earlier than Caucasians.For the same body mass index Asian Indians also have more fat and especially centrally located abdominal fat.The social and economic impact of this burden of diabetes is huge.India is home to the largest number of people with diabetes but,unfortunately,expenditure on treatment is only 20%.An approach that addresses the various risk factors of diabetes will be needed to curb the rapidly growing epidemic of diabetes.

There is an urgent need for lifestyle intervention,with the incorporation of a healthy diet,an increase in physical activity and weight reduction as a means of preventing diabetes in those who are in the prediabetic stage and thus prevent  the diabetes epidemic,which is looming large in our country.

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