They said that the data was obtained from a study done 10 years ago, and that the prevalence of diabetes had since increased. In response to this WHO officials said that the current data was inaccessible for calculations. The other difficulties where that the recent studies done by the Chinese government were in Chinese and were published in journals that are not accessible. But Ms. Roglic explained that WHO has established contacts with the Ministry of Health in China to provide them with updated studies.
She also said that the disease prevalence in China has gone up but has not reached Indian proportions. China is now on the top of the list due to its population size. Ms. Roglic at a training seminar organized by the M.V. Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai said that the prevalence of diabetics is increasing across the globe.
She also said that India had practically no data on diabetes for rural areas. All studies focused on urban centers, though a greater proportion of India lives in rural areas. Hence this data cannot be useful in extrapolating onto rural populations, because prevalence is not likely to be as high. In conclusion she said that it is possible that there are not as many as 30 million diabetics in India.
Ms. Roglic also said that this kind of study (cross-sectional studies) is easy to perform and understand the prevalence and extrapolate the data. She launched the Indian Network for Non-Communicable Diseases, initiated by Dr. V. Mohan of the MDRF at the seminar. She said that it is important to build a mass of people who would interact to have a coordinated research to answer important questions.
Hence she insisted that prevention is the best option to reduce the increasing number rather than treatment. She also mentioned India's initiative to develop a national programme for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). She believed that an integrated programme including diabetes, cardiac disease and some cancers, shared risk factors and methods of treatment.