News article

'Ahmedabad may emerge as diabetes capital of India'

Posted:  Friday, April 20, 2012

The Times of India, April 20, 2012, 10.37PM India Standard Time

VADODARA: Gujarat and more importantly Ahmedabad may emerge as diabetes capital of India. Renowned diabetologist Padma Shri Dr V Mohan said this here on Friday.

President of Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) Dr Mohan was in the city to deliver a lecture on 'Diabetes epidemic in India - why and what can be done?' at M S University's department of food and nutrition, which had organized the 7th annual alumni meet of MSU Foods and Nutrition Alumni Association.

Although the Indian Council of Medical Research - India diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study is yet to start in Gujarat, Dr Mohan said that considering Ahmedabad's earlier records, it will still emerge as diabetes capital of the country.

It was in 1972 that ICMR had first studied prevalence of diabetes in major Indian cities. "Even four decades back, Ahmedabad was the only city with 3 per cent populace suffering from diabetes compared to other major Indian cities where the study had revealed two per cent prevalence of diabetes," Dr Mohan said.

"Assuming that the same situation exists today and that Gujarat has further progressed due to rapid urbanization, I won't be surprised if the state emerges as diabetes capital of India," he said, adding that ICMR-INDIAB study in Gujarat apart from Punjab, Bihar, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will begin next month.

The phase one results of ICMR-INDIAB study has provided data from three states including Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand and one Union Territory Chandigarh. The conclusion is that 62 million people in India live with diabetes and 77 million people are on the threshold, with pre-diabetes.

In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization had estimated that 50 million people in the country were suffering from diabetes against China which had 42 million of its population suffering from the disease.

"Luckily, China's own records suggest that they have beaten us but yet we are a very unfit nation. We have world's largest youth population but our youth is not healthy," he said, adding that in bigger Indian cities 18 to 20 per cent of adults above 20 years age have diabetes.

"In smaller towns, it is around 12 to 14 per cent. In villages, where the 1972 study had revealed that only one per cent population was suffering from diabetes, the populace suffering from diabetes has increased significantly. In rural areas of Kerala, it is 18 to 20 per cent. In Tamil Nadu, eight to ten per cent and even though low, rural areas of Jharkhand still have three per cent populace suffering from diabetes as compared to one per cent four decades ago," Dr Mohan said.