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WORLD DIABETES DAY: Punjab Leads India’s Diabetes Burden As Overweight Pushing Up India Numbers Sky High

NEW DELHI – High body mass index is driving India’s diabetes burden, suggesting policy makers need to check the overweight population to check the epidemic.

A government-led study on India’s diabetes trends published in The Lancet Global Health shows the prevalence of overweight in adults aged 20 and above doubled from 1990 to 2016 with an increase observed in every state of the country.

The increase has been attributed to the switch from traditional foodstuffs to energy-intense, nutrient-poor, high-carbohydrate diets; increasingly sedentary occupations; low levels of recreational physical activity; and socioeconomic transition.

Punjab with Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has reported the highest prevalence of overweight. The findings suggest that the prevalence of diabetes in Indians aged 20 or above increased from 5.5 per cent in 1990 to 7.7 per cent in 2016 with the highest prevalence reported in the more developed states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Punjab.

“The prevalence of overweight in adults aged 20 years or older in India increased from 9 per cent in 1990 to 20.4 per cent in 2016. This increase occurred in every state of India with a 3.5 times variation across the states in 2016,” says the study.

There were 65 million prevalent cases of diabetes in India in 2016 compared with 26 million in 1990 and the crude prevalence of diabetes in adults over 20 years rose by 39.4 per cent from 5.5 per cent in 1990 to 7.7 per cent in 2016 with a rise in every state from 1990 to 2016, concludes the research with Dr Nikhil Tandon of AIIMS as the lead collaborators along with several others, including top cardiologist K Srinath Reddy.

The study finds that among every 100 overweight adults aged 20 or older in India in 2016, there were 38 adults with diabetes compared with the global average of 19 adults. This rate in India was higher for men than for women.

131% increase in death rate: Study

As per the government-led study published in The Lancet, diabetes contributed to 3.1 per cent of the total deaths in 2016

The overall death rate increased between 1990 and 2016 by 131 per cent from 10 to 23.1 per 1 lakh persons, it said

High BMI had the highest impact on diabetes among risk factors with 36% of DALYs (healthy years of life lost) attributed to it

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