India is the largest contributor to regional mortality with 983,000 deaths caused due to diabetes. Currently, there is no way to delay or prevent type 1 diabetes. However, research has shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in people at risk of the disease.
Even a cursory look at the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas (2011), the latest so far, is alarming. India is home to over 61 million diabetic patients, an increase from 50.8 million in 2010. By 2030, India’s diabetes figures are expected to cross the 100 million mark as against 87 million estimated earlier. The country is also the largest contributor to regional mortality with 983,000 deaths caused due to diabetes. IDF said India’s prevalence of diabetes among 20-79 year olds was 9.2 per cent. India was only second to China, which had 90 million diabetic patients (2011) that will increase to about 130 million by 2030.
The IDF Diabetes Atlas figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise globally from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030. In 2011 there were 71.4 million people with diabetes in the South-East Asia region, and this number is expected to increase to 120.9 million by 2030. IDF also estimates that 36.2 million people in the region are still yet to be diagnosed with the disease. The South-East Asia region also has one of the highest estimates of prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children. In 2011 an estimated 18,000 children under the age of 15 developed type 1 diabetes. According to Dhruba Lall Singh, Chair of IDF’s South-East Asia region in 2011, ‘India also accounts for most of the 112,000 children in the region with type 1 diabetes.’
In India, some reports pitch Gujarat second after Tamil Nadu on the fast track in acquiring diabetic patients. The Union Health Ministry planned a diabetes and hypertension screening programme in 21 states, involving 700 community health centres and 20,000 sub-centres with the target of checking 150 million people in 100 districts for diabetes by March 2012.