The Indian Council of Medical Research survey that encompassed Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, was unveiled on the occasion of World Health Day by the Union health Minister JP Nadda. The survey found that Chandigarh has the highest prevalence of diabetes and Jharkhand the lowest.
16,000 people from across 3 states and the Union territory of Chandigarh studied from 2008 to 2011 showed India in a poor light concerning this non-communicable disease, and its rising burden on the state with urban areas leading over rural.
According to the study Chandigarh has 13.6% prevalence of diabetes and 14.6% prevalence of pre-diabetes. Maharashtra has 8.4% diabetes and 12.8% pre-diabetes which translated into numbers shows Maharashtra with 6 million people with diabetes and 9.2 million with pre-diabetes.
Chandigarh also showed the highest rate of obesity.The ICMR findings calls into question lifestyle choices, particularly in urban areas. Across regions 58% urban and 36.8% people were unaware of diabetes and its complications. There was also a marked difference in the food habits of the people studied, with the consumption of rice being a significant contributor to the ailment.
At the WHO technical briefing last week the chairman of Fortis Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol, blasted Indian food choices and habits, putting the penchant for fried snacks as deeply harmful and the lack of enough physical exercise as also a factor.
The unawareness of people in lower rural numbers could also imply many unreported cases, with the only state with regular screenings being Tamil Nadu.
The ICMR survey follows a Lancet study recently released that put China, India and the USA among the top three countries with large numbers of diabetic patients. India has seen a rise to 645 million patients.