10 Crore Indians Are Now Diabetes Patients; 31 Crore Indians Affected By Hypertension

A recent study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed a startling reality about the health of the Indian population. Published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the study highlighted that a staggering 315 million individuals in India are grappling with hypertension, while 101 million are living with diabetes. These numbers are indeed alarming and call for immediate attention to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases in the country.

The ICMR-India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study involved an extensive survey spanning from 2008 to 2020, encompassing 113,043 individuals aged 20 years and above. The participants hailed from both urban and rural areas across 31 states, union territories, and the National Capital Territory of India. Out of the total participants, 33,537 resided in urban areas, while 79,506 were from rural areas.

Researchers, including Ranjit Mohan Anjana from Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, ICMR-Chennai, aimed to assess the prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India and analyze regional disparities.

The findings of the study revealed that, apart from pre-diabetes, all metabolic NCDs, including obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, were more prevalent in urban areas compared to rural areas. States with lower human development indices exhibited a diabetes-to-pre-diabetes ratio of less than one. Notably, certain states such as Kerala, Puducherry, Goa, Sikkim, and Punjab had a higher prevalence of NCDs compared to others.

The study further demonstrated that diabetes was more prevalent in the southern and northern regions of India, with higher rates observed in urban areas. On the other hand, high blood pressure was commonly found in urban areas and across the country, except in central India.

The researchers emphasized that the prevalence of diabetes and other metabolic non-communicable diseases in India is significantly higher than previously estimated. While there are indications of the diabetes epidemic stabilizing in more developed states, it continues to worsen in most other states. This calls for urgent and targeted policies and interventions at the state level to tackle the escalating epidemic of metabolic NCDs in India.

The findings of the ICMR-INDIAB study serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, healthcare providers, and the public to prioritize preventive measures, early detection, and effective management of diabetes and hypertension. It is crucial to raise awareness about healthy lifestyle choices, promote regular health check-ups, and ensure access to affordable and quality healthcare services. Only through a comprehensive and collaborative approach can we hope to alleviate the burden of these chronic diseases and improve the overall health and well-being of the Indian population.

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