India tops in diabetes cases, says study

India leads the world in the number of people suffering from diabetes, and by 2030, nearly 9 per cent of the country's population is likely to be affected by the disease, the International Diabetic Federation (IDF) has warned.

About 50.8 million people are now suffering from the looming epidemic of diabetes, followed by China with 43.2 million, a report released at the 20th annual World Diabetes Congress of IDF that opened on Monday in the Canadian city of Montreal said. The US is third with 26.8 million people suffering from the disease.

Among other hard-hit countries, the figure is 9.6 million in Russia, 7.6 million in Brazil and 7.5 million in Germany. Pakistan is the third in Asia along with Japan, which both have 7.1 million diabetic patients, while Indonesia has 7 million, according to the IDF data.

Warning Indian policy makers, the report said, "Evidence suggests that in more affluent parts of the country, the rural prevalence is higher than in less affluent rural areas, indicating that increasing economic growth will raise diabetes prevalence in India even more than these possibly conservative estimates have indicated.''

The rampaging diabetes will impose a huge economic burden on India and other countries, it added. Apart from losing billions in lost productivity, the report said, India will also be spending $2.8 billion annually on diabetes control measures by 2010.

There are estimated to be 285 million diabetes cases worldwide, accounting for seven per cent of the world's population. Diabetes, along with cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, accounts for 60 per cent ff all deaths worldwide.