Over the past two decades, diabetes has emerged as a major disease burden for India. Globally, diabetes rate has increased by 45%, in India; it has shot up to 123% between 1990-2013.
Data based on a global study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington shows that the trend, which was common in developed countries, is now emerging in developing nations such as India, China and Mexico.
The top ranking diseases in India in both 1990 and 2013 include depressive disorder, iron deficiency anemia, low back pain, migraine. Diabetes, which did not feature among top ten diseases in India in 1990s, ranked eighth in 2013.
The study based on the analysis of 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries shows that diabetes is now among the top ten reasons for various other disorders among both men and women.
"Diabetes is an escalating problem in India and has major socio-economic dimensions. Rapid dietary changes coupled with decreased level of physical activity have resulted in increasing obesity and diabetes in rural and semi-urban areas," said Dr Anoop Misra, Endocrinologist and Chairman of Fortis-CDOC for diabetes and allied sciences.
Misra emphasized that increased stress level, irregular working hours, lack of exercise and consumption of alcohol and fast food were some of the significant contributors for the increasing incidence of diabetes in India.
"The influence of globalization and urbanization are the single biggest factors for India's diabetes epidemic," said V. Mohan of Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialties Center, Chennai, and founder of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation. "Our eating habits now resemble the west and we've adopted sedentary lifestyles."