Startling stats reveal that the number of people suffering from diabetes in India has risen to 62.4 million, and is predicted to reach 101.2 million in 2030. Read on to know why Indians have a genetic predisposition to diabetes

India assumes the position of diabetes capital of the world. More than 50 million people currently suffer from type-2 diabetes in India. India also presented the highest number of people suffering from diabetes mellitus (31.7 million) in 2000. China (20.8 million) and the US (17.7 million) presented the second and third highest numbers respectively.

According to a study, the prevalence of diabetes among young adults (18-24 years), increased from 19.5% (1994) to 28.8% (2004). However, older age groups showed constant patterns. Further studies reveal a trend of increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in both urban and rural populations of India. Indian Council of Medical Research India Diabetes Study (ICMR-INDIAB) presented 2011 statistics indicating highest prevalence rate amongst North Indians. The number of people suffering from diabetes had risen to 62.4 million, predicted to reach 101.2 million in 2030. Additionally, the urban-rural rift with respect to type 2 diabetes prevalence continues to decrease. This could be due to the spread of factors adversely impacting the lifestyle habits. Furthermore, Indians in general have a strong ethnic and genetic predisposition to diabetes having lower onsets for environmental risk factors.

With India having the highest number of diabetic patients in the world, diabetes poses an enormous public health issue to the country. Apart from the growing number of patients of the type 2 disease and its complications, increasing incidences amongst children and adolescents are of significant concern.