Health

Lifetime risk of diabetes in metropolitan cities is alarming, warns study

In India researchers note that — urbanisation, decreasing diet quality and decreased levels of physical activity — are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Disturbing new research published in Diabetologia (journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that more than half of men (55%) and some two thirds (65%) of women aged 20 years in India will likely develop diabetes, with most of those cases (around 95%) likely to be type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The research titled “Lifetime risk of diabetes in metropolitan cities in India,’’ was done by a team of authors in India, U.K. and U.S., led by Shammi Luhar, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Lifetime risk of diabetes in metropolitan cities is alarming, warns study
 

Professor Nikhil Tandon from the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, co-author of the paper noted that India already has a significant health burden caused by diabetes and estimates suggest 77 million adults have diabetes and this number is expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045.

The authors note that their new estimates from India are much closer to estimates of lifetime risk of 20-year-olds among the black and Hispanic populations in the U.S. (above 50%), groups considered at a higher risk of developing diabetes than the general population.

Dr. Luhar says: “Such high probabilities of developing diabetes will have severely negative implications for India’s already strained health system and also out-of-pocket expenditure on diabetes treatment by patients, unless diabetes is immediately acknowledged for what it is: one of the most important threats to public health in India.”

In India researchers note that — urbanisation, decreasing diet quality and decreased levels of physical activity — are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.

The data for the study came from using age, sex and BMI-specific incidence rates of diabetes in urban India taken from the Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia (2010–2018); age-, sex- and urban-specific rates of mortality from period lifetables reported by the government of India (2014); and prevalence of diabetes from the Indian Council for Medical Research India Diabetes study (2008–2015).

The authors estimate that lifetime risk of developing diabetes in 20-year-old men and women free of diabetes today is 56% and 65%, respectively.

The paper notes that women generally had a higher lifetime risk across the lifespan. “Remaining lifetime risk of developing diabetes declined with age, note the authors. They estimated that for those currently aged 60 years and free of diabetes, around 38% of women and 28% of men would develop diabetes. Obesity had a substantial impact on these projections.’’ It said the risk was highest among obese metropolitan Indians — 86% among 20-year-old women and 87% among men.

Professor Viswanathan Mohan of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai and co-author of the paper said: “Despite these very high predicted lifetime risks of diabetes, it is possible to prevent or postpone diabetes by effective lifestyle modification, such as following a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and reducing body weight in those who are obese or overweight.”

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:35:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/lifetime-risk-of-diabetes-in-metropolitan-cities-is-alarming-warns-study/article33205315.ece

Next Story