India heading for diabetes explosion: report

ISLAMABAD: India leads the world in the looming epidemic of diabetes, the 20th annual World Diabetes Congress of the International Diabetic Federation (IDF) was told.

According to the annual report of IDF, India currently has the highest number of 50.8 million people suffering from diabetes, an Indian television channel reported Tuesday.

The report projected 58.7 million diabetes cases in India by 2010 – almost 7 per cent of its adult population.

By 2030, over 8.4 per cent of the Indian adult population will suffer from diabetes due to an increase in life expectancy and urbanization, the report said.

Warning Indian policy makers, the report said: ‘Evidence suggests that in more affluent parts of the country, the prevalence of diabetes is higher in the rural areas than that in less affluent rural areas, indicating that increasing economic growth will raise diabetes prevalence in India.’

The rampaging diabetes will impose a huge economic burden on India and other countries, it added. Apart from losing billions in productivity, India will also be spending $2.8 billion annually on diabetes control measures by 2010, said the report.

There are estimated to be 285 million diabetes cases worldwide, accounting for seven per cent of the world’s population.

Diabetes, along with cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, accounts for 60 per cent of deaths worldwide.

‘Diabetes imposes an economic burden on the individual, national healthcare system and the country’s economy. Healthcare expenditures on diabetes are expected to account for 11.6 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure in the world in 2010,’ the report said.

‘Estimated global healthcare expenditures to treat and prevent diabetes and its complications are expected to total at least $376 billion in 2010.’ –APP

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