Indians who are 20 years now could develop diabetes in their life time, with a majority of them having Type 2 diabetes. A new study found that more than half of the men and one third of the women who reached 20 years are at diabetic risk.
The study was published in journal Diabetologia. India, which already has about 77 million adults with diabetes, is estimated to have about 134 million patients by 2045. The study shows that urbanisation, decreased physical activity, decreased diet quality will lead to the high level of diabetic risk in the younger generation.
The researchers analysed sex, BMI-specific incidence rates of diabetes in urban India. The data between 2010 and 2018 was collected from Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia (2010–2018), age, sex and urban specific rates of mortality by the Government of India (2014) and prevalence of diabetes from the Indian Council for Medical Research India Diabetes study (2008–2015).
He researchers noted that about 56 per cent of the 20 year old men and 65 per cent of women are liable to develop diabetes. They also noted that the risk of diabetes development decreased with increase of age. They said that only 38 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men in their 60s would develop diabetes.
Obesity is already a known risk factor for diabetes. The researchers found that 86 per cent among 20 year old women and 87 per cent among men who are obese are at a higher risk. They also noted people with lower BMI had a higher diabetes free life expectancy.
However, the researchers note that metropolitan Indians at the same age and BMI have an alarmingly high probability of developing diabetes compared with results from high income countries.
They also noted that urgent intervention was needed in all metropolitan cities. The researchers said that the probability of development of diabetes will have negative implications for India’s already strained health system. This would also increase out of the pocket expenditure on diabetic treatment.
Co-author of the study paper Professor Viswanathan Mohan (Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai) said that the risk can be overcome by improving life style such as including more physical activity and healthy diet. Another author Professor Nikhil Tandon (Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences) said that here was a need for better policy intervention and targets should be spelt out clearly.