The incidence of diabetes has taken on alarming proportions in the last two decades, rising from 30 million to 230 million, resulting in the loss of millions of lives, according to a recent study.
The study by the American Diabetes Association pointed out that China has the largest number of people with diabetes - 39 million - in the age group of 20 or over followed by India with with 30 million people affected by the disease.
'Less physical activity and consumption of cheap food that is very high in calorie content leads to weight gain in people in developing countries increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes,' it said.
According to the study, Type 2 diabetes affects 21 million Americans and is increasing at the rate of about 8 per cent annually. Some 220,000 people die here as a result of the disease with the costs projected at around USD 132 billion annually.
The study pointed out that doctors were not being 'aggressive enough' in prescribing adequate doses of drugs that can protect patients from diabetes and its associated complications.
'There is a lack of physician action in the face of abnormal findings,' said Dr Nathaniel G Clark, vice president of the American Diabetes' Association, while discussing the findings of the study at a conference here.
'And the clinical inertia on the part of physicians have to do with pushing adequate doses of drugs dealing with diabetes, insulin and blood pressure medications to such levels as to best protect patients from the disease and complications,' he said.