A recent survey done in Tamil Nadu had shown that the prevalence of diabetes in rural areas of the State was around 8 to 10 per cent.

Well-known Chennai-based diabetologist V. Mohan said here on Saturday that people in rural areas and smaller towns too were becoming prone to diabetes and it was no longer confined only to urban areas.

“We did a study on diabetes prevalence and found that while it was around 12 per cent in urban areas, the prevalence in rural areas of Tamil Nadu was 8-10 per cent,” he said.

Dr. Mohan was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day annual conference organised by the Tamil Nadu Chapter of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).

Stating that India already has 50 million people with diabetes, he said that there are another 50 million in pre-diabetes stage.

“It is estimated that the country will have 87 million people with diabetes by the year 2030. India, therefore, has a huge problem of diabetes but the number of professionals to treat diabetes are still less,” Dr. Mohan, who is the Organising Chairman of the conference, observed.

Speaking about RSSDI, he said that it has over 5,000 members across the country and has emerged as an active diabetes association undertaking various research/awareness programmes. The first conference of the Tamil Nadu Chapter was now organised in Madurai.

Vice-Chancellor’s appeal

The Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, R. Karpaga Kumaravel, who inaugurated the conference, said that the university would be happy to extend its facilities for working in the area of public health in collaboration with RSSDI.

“As a Vice-Chancellor, I suggest to this diabetes society to develop some association with academia, industry, public and the Government. Instead of doing research in isolation, it will be beneficial if both of us work together,” he told the diabetologists.

Dr. Karpaga Kumaravel also referred to the economic impact of diabetes and called for active work through diagnostic, preventive and educative programmes. He commended the ‘TRAC-2010’ (Tamil Nadu RSSDI conference) for its efforts in knowledge-sharing on diabetes.

I. Chandrasekaran, Head, Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai and Muruganathan, Member, Medical Council of India, were among those who offered felicitations.

A. J. Asirvatham, diabetologist and Organising Secretary of the conference, in his welcome address, said that the objective of ‘TRAC-2010’ was for having a scientific update in the field of diabetes.