Chennai: India, which is already the world’s diabetes capital, is heading towards the diabetes epidemic, with 70 million people expected to be affected by 2015, a decade ahead of expectations. Promoting anxiety trends is an increase in the prevalence of diabetes in rural areas.
The unexpected surge prompted the revision of the India-specific numbers in October, the global report on the disorder, Diabetes Atlas. A recent study we did in Chennai and Kanchipuram shows an increase of 40% in urban areas in six years and 49% in rural areas in three years. Dr A Ramachandran, president of the Indian Diabetes Research Foundation, says this proves that the common othesis of diabetes affects more urbanites than rural people.

According to the Diabetes Atlas published in 2007, there are 246 million diabetics worldwide, 80% of whom are in developing and undeveloped countries. According to these statistics, India has 40.9 million diabetics, while China has 39.8 million diabetics. It is estimated that by 2025 India will have 69.9 million people and China will have 59.3 million people with diabetes.
When Atlas was released, it was assumed that the prevalence in cities was higher than in rural areas. Looks like there’s a change now. We have to see how many states in India show the same trend. That will help us to revise policies and strategies to combat diabetes, says Ramachandran, who will be part of the committee forming the revised data.

Dr. S. Krishnan, Medical Director, Endocrine Diagnostic Center and Diabetes Care Center According to Murthy, the change may be due to the urbanization of rural areas. Changing lifestyle and genetic factors contribute to metabolic disorders, Dr. V. Mohan, head of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, says, adding that the country is now on a crossroads and that the gap between urban and rural disease is narrowing. It happens differently in different places. In Kerala, the rate is already high in rural areas,

Dr Anoop Mishra, head of the diabetes department at Fortis Hospital in Delhi, says a nationwide study is needed before revision. No formula to eliminate area-specific study is error-free. This is increasing in some rural areas, but this may be true only in Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, AP, Karnataka and West Bengal.


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