Figures from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), estimate that over 65 million people in India have diabetes and over 77 million have Prediabetes.
The numbers show that there are more people with diabetes in India than there are total people, with or without diabetes, in the UK. Whilst India has a much higher population than the UK (1.2 billion compared with the UK’s 63 million), the figures are still high, with 5.5% of the Indian population living with diabetes and this figure has been rising more rapidly than in the UK.
In addition, a large second wave is likely to increase the diabetes numbers in India with around 6.5% of the Indian population estimated as having prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which people have higher blood glucose levels than normal, as a result of insulin resistance, but not to the extent that they are diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.
People diagnosed as having prediabetes have the chance to make lifestyle changes which can either significantly delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. Whilst committed individuals have good chances of preventing or delaying this form of diabetes, changing lifestyle habits on a national scale is a huge task.
President of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundatio, V Moha, pointed to the rapid growth in urbanisation and a corresponding steep drop in physical activity as being linked with the fast rising diabetes numbers.
Tamil Nadu is the most urbanised State in India with 50 per cent of the state population living in cities. Indeed, within the State’s capital city Chennai, 22 per cent of inhabitants have diabetes.

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