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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Diabetes: Facts, Stats and Trends in India

Diabetes has become a very common condition in India. India has been given a title that we do not want. Recently, many experts have started to refer to India as the diabetic capital of the world. This title is being used for the vast population which is suffering from diabetes as well as the rapidly increasing number.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s insulin-producing or insulin processing ability gets compromised resulting in a high blood glucose level. At the moment, the condition does not have a cure. It lasts forever and also requires constant treatment making it a dangerous disease.

To understand the progress of diabetes endemic in India, let us look at important aspects that will help you understand.

Diabetes Facts - A map of India

India is called the diabetes capital of the world, Credits: Pixabay

Prevalence of Cases

It is estimated that today India has more than 71 million active cases of diabetes which is the second-highest in the world. In the year 1990, the number was much lower at 26 million. As diabetes is not a communicable disease this number is very alarming.

Indian states with the highest number of diabetic patients In descending order are:

  1. Tamil Nadu

  2. Kerala

  3. Delhi

The type of region has a significant effect on the number of diabetes cases in India.  In urban areas, the prevalence of diabetes is very high at almost 9% among adults.

In rural areas, the prevalence of diabetes In the adult population is much lower at 3%. This massive difference points towards the different lifestyles that people live by in rural and urban India. It also indicates that a healthier lifestyle is a key factor in preventing diabetes.

In India, the prevalence of diabetes is much lower in rural areas as compared to urban areas, Credits: Flickr

Affected Age Group

An image of a rural part of India

The diabetes onset age in India is much lower than western countries, Credits: wallpaperflare

Most cases of diabetes are observed in adults. The onset of diabetes is usually after the age of 20.

A very key fact that studies have shown is that the onset of diabetes in India is 10 years earlier when compared to western countries. This is a very alarming fact because diabetes increases the chances of getting other life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease which can cause death.

The Death Rate

India has a very high estimate of diabetes-induced deaths. Some studies have shown that India has 5 lakh to 10 lakh diabetes-related deaths every year.

In India, diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the country.

The deaths are caused by complications associated with diabetes.

Awareness about the disease

It is believed that 1 in two people suffering from diabetes is unaware of their condition. Some studies have quoted that 68% had no idea that they were suffering from diabetes. The lack of awareness about the disease has a significant contribution to the increasing number of cases.

There are various organizations that are working to increase awareness about diabetes in India.


Different pills

Some diabetes medications have their price controlled by the government, Credits: Flickr

Diabetes requires constant treatment. An estimated 30 million people in India take regular medication for diabetes. One of the most used classes of medications in the country is for diabetes.

To ensure access to diabetes medication to everyone, the Indian government has controlled the price of certain medications. Under the Drug Price Control Order, the government of India has assigned a specific price to various medications and diabetic drugs are one of them. An example of such a drug is metformin.

Future of Diabetes in India

Many experts believe that the graph of diabetes in India is going to increase. It is estimated that India will have more than 100 million cases of diabetes by 2031. It is believed that a variety of lifestyle factors and family diabetes history will play a role in this.

At this predicted rate India will be the worst affected country by diabetes in the near future.


Diabetes is on the rise in India as the cases keep on increasing. Lifestyle changes have shown promise in both managing diabetes as well as preventing it. If you are suffering from diabetes or at risk of it then you should start working on your lifestyle while getting treatment.

The current estimates for India’s diabetic future can be decreased if the people of this country are made aware and helped in battling diabetes.

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