Diabetes – Most Prevalent Lifestyle Disease in India

Diabetes or high blood sugar is a common health issue among many Indians today. Over the years, the number of diabetes cases has grown substantially. The fifth edition of Diabetes Atlas, published in 2011 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), shows India as second among the global countries with people suffering from diabetes.

According to estimates, 6.13 crore people in India have diabetes. It is also appalling to note that 1 in every 10 Indian adults in the age group 20-79 years is suffering from this disorder. The Diabetes Atlas shows India with the largest regional mortality, with 983 diabetes-related deaths in 2011.

Statistics on diabetes in India are always frightening. The number of diabetics in the country grew to 6.13 crore in 2011 from 1.9 crore in 1995. Given the trend, India would have an appalling 10 crore people with diabetes by 2030.

Type II diabetes: the most common in India – In India, two types of diabetes have been diagnosed: ‘Type I diabetes’ and ‘Type II diabetes’.

Type I diabetes: Type I diabetes is most commonly seen in children and young adults below the age of 40 years. This condition arises when the body is unable to produce insulin. Though, this type of diabetes is rare in other parts of the world, India still houses significant number of children suffering from Type I diabetes. According to IDF, India topped the list of countries with high incidence of diabetes, with an estimated 1,12,000 children having diabetes in 2011. The early occurrence of the disorder increases the probability of concomitant complications; this is the major concern with this type of diabetes.

Type II diabetes: This is, indeed, common in India. It occurs because of the inability of the body cells to utilize the produced insulin. As a result glucose builds up in the blood leading to high blood sugar or diabetes. Genetic and lifestyle factors are the major causes of this disorder. Most commonly found in people above 40 years .

Prevalence is more in educated urban group: Surprisingly, in India it is the educated and affluent urban group that is highly affected by diabetes than the poor, uneducated rural people. Studies show while prevalence of diabetes in non-obese, physically active, rural Indians is only 0.7%, it peaks to 11% among the obese Diabetes Herbal Medicineand sedentary urban people.

Causes of high prevalence of diabetes in India: Studies conducted on the high prevalence of diabetes in India furnish almost the same factors that lead to the disorder. They are:

Genetic predisposition: Indians are more prone to diabetes because of a greater genetic susceptibility. This factor appears to play a major role in the occurrence of type II diabetes. Compared to the western population, a strong familial aggregation of diabetes is observed in Indians. A high prevalence is seen in first-degree relatives and vertical transmission through two or more generations. It is also observed that most Indian diabetic patients had both diabetic parents.

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