Diabetes crisis deepens in India: Top 10 worst-affected states and UTs

By, New Delhi
Jun 09, 2023 04:13 PM IST

A Lancet study finds that an astonishing 101 million people in India are struggling with diabetes with Goa, Puducherry, and Kerala having high prevalence rates.

Surpassing the earlier WHO estimates of 77 million people suffering from diabetes, a new study published in internationally acclaimed journal Lancet, funded by ICMR and Health Ministry has brought surprising numbers to the fore. The study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has discovered an astonishing 101 million people in India are struggling with diabetes, which is 11.4% of our population, while 136 million have prediabetes and on the precipice of the metabolic disorder with high chances of developing the disease in the coming years. The data also talks about state-wise numbers of diabetes and other NCDs (non-communicable diseases) like prediabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol etc. (Also read: India has 101 million diabetics, most populous UP has least prevalence, says Lancet study)

The worst affected is the fourth smallest states of the country Goa with 26.4% prevalence(Artem Podrez)
The worst affected is the fourth smallest states of the country Goa with 26.4% prevalence(Artem Podrez)

The worst affected is the fourth smallest states of the country Goa with 26.4% prevalence while the most populous state UP has 4.8 % prevalence of diabetes. Puducherry with 26.3% and Kerala with 25.5% take the second and third spot in the chart.

While UP has managed to keep diabetes at bay for now, the study warns of a sharp rise in the metabolic disorder in the state. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh also have low prevalence rate of diabetes but the cases are growing fast.

Diabetes crisis in India: Data from Lancet study
Diabetes crisis in India: Data from Lancet study

In terms of diabetes prevalence, the southern and northern regions of India exhibit the highest rates, with urban areas consistently showing high prevalence. Conversely, the central and northeastern regions have lower prevalence rates. For prediabetes prevalence, the central and northern regions of India have the highest rates, while Punjab, Jharkhand, and certain parts of the northeastern region exhibit lower prevalence. Notably, there is no significant difference in prediabetes prevalence between urban and rural areas.

Here are the top 10 worst-affected states by diabetes:

1. Goa - 26.4%

2. Puducherry - 26.3%

3. Kerala - 25.5%

4. Chandigarh - 20.4%

5. Delhi - 17.8%

6. Tamil Nadu - 14.4%

7. West Bengal - 13.7%

8. Sikkim - 12.8%

9. Punjab - 12.7%

10. Haryana - 12.4%

The survey covered all 28 states, two union territories, and the national capital region of Delhi, It survey was executed an extensive sample size of 1,13,043 people. The results of the study are published in medical journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

What experts have to say about Lancet study

"The recent study by Lancet sheds light on the alarming prevalence of diabetes in India, affecting a staggering 101 million individuals, which accounts for 11.4% of the country's population. Several factors contribute to the increased vulnerability of adults to diabetes in recent times. Sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy dietary habits, obesity, stress, and genetic predispositions play significant roles. To safeguard our health and mitigate the risk of diabetes, it is crucial to indulge in regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or exercise routines, which can help maintain a healthy weight and improve insulin sensitivity. Adopting a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is essential. Limiting the intake of sugary beverages and processed foods is equally important. Managing stress levels, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption are additional measures that can significantly lower the risk of developing diabetes," says Dr. Kranti Shreesh Khadilkar, Consultant Endocrinology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City, Bangalore.

"The Lancet study's revelation of 101 million individuals with diabetes in India is a concerning reality that extends beyond adults. Diabetes affects children as well, and it is crucial for parents to be aware of the early signs and take necessary precautions to safeguard their children's health. Children showing early signs of diabetes may experience increased thirst and frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, and recurrent infections. To ensure their children's well-being and prevent occurrence and aggravation of type II diabetes mellitus, parents should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Encouraging regular physical activity, such as sports or outdoor play, helps maintain a healthy weight and improves insulin sensitivity. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential. Limiting the intake of sugary snacks and beverages is crucial. It is important for parents to be vigilant and consult a healthcare professional if they notice any symptoms in their children," says Dr. Abhishek Kulkarni, Consultant - Paediatric Endocrinology, NH-SRCC Children's Hospital, Mumbai.

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