Diabetes on the rise in India

IndianExpose brings to its readers a shocking detailed study of ‘The increasing burden of diabetes and variations among the states of India’ which is a part of study initiated under ‘The India State-level Disease Burden Initiative’ of the Indian Medical Council, Public Health Foundation of India, Institute of Health Metric and Evaluation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare…

  1. The number of people with diabetes in India increased from 26·0 million (95% UI 23·4–28·6) in 1990 to 65·0 million (58·7–71·1) in 2016.

2. The prevalence of diabetes in adults aged 20 years or older in India increased from 5·5% (4·9–6·1) in 1990 to 7·7% (6·9–8·4) in 2016.

3. The prevalence in 2016 was highest in Tamil Nadu and Kerala (high ETL) and Delhi (higher-middle ETL), followed by Punjab and Goa (high ETL) and Karnataka (higher-middle ETL).

4. The age-standardised DALY rate for diabetes increased in India by 39·6% (32·1–46·7) from 1990 to 2016, which was the highest increase among major non-communicable diseases.

5. The age-standardised diabetes prevalence and DALYs increased in every state, with the percentage increase among the highest in several states in the low and lower- middle ETL state groups.

6. The most important risk factor for diabetes in India was overweight to which 36·0% (22·6–49·2) of the diabetes DALYs in 2016 could be attributed.

7. The prevalence of overweight in adults in India increased from 9·0% (8·7–9·3) in 1990 to 20·4% (19·9–20·8) in 2016; this prevalence increased in every state of the country.

8. For every 100 overweight adults aged 20 years or older in India, there were 38 adults (34–42) with diabetes, compared with the global average of 19 adults (17–21) in 2016.

The increase in health loss from diabetes since 1990 in India is the highest among major non- communicable diseases.

With this increase observed in every state of the country, and the relative rate of increase highest in several less developed low ETL states, policy action that takes these state-level differences into account is needed urgently to control this potentially explosive public health situation.

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