'7.2% of urban poor in state are diabetic'

'7.2% of urban poor in state are diabetic'

'7.2% of urban poor  in state are diabetic'
India’s diabetes epidemic is shifting from the rich to the urban poor in affluent states like Karnataka, a survey has found.

The survey, conducted among more than 57,000 people in 15 states, revealed that there is high prevalence of diabetes in Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. It also pointed out that the prevalence in these states and Union Territories has been particularly high among the poor. The northeastern state of Tripura is the only exception, as it is not rich but still with a higher diabetes rate.

On average, diabetes is twice as common in urban areas (11.2%) compared to rural areas (5.2%). The more conservative Tamil Nadu and the wealthier Punjab feature on the top of the list, with 10.4% and 10% of their respective populations having the lifestyle disease. Tripura has 9.4% prevalence rate, while Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have 8.4%. Karnataka with 7.7% and Gujarat with 7.1% are the other states in the list.

Chandigarh may top India’s per capita GDP with $3,433, but it also appears on the summit of the diabetes prevalence list with 13.6%. In urban Chandigarh, a whopping 26.9% among the lower socio-economic groups have the disease, while the figures in the adjoining rural areas are lower.

Tripura reflects a similar trend with 15% among the urban poor grappling with the disease. The worrying pattern is also observed in Karnataka, where 7.2% of the urban poor have the disease, as against 10.8% of the rich. The numbers are modest in rural Karnataka.

“As the overall prosperity of individual states and the country increases, the diabetes epidemic is likely to disproportionately affect the poorer sections of society, a transition that has already been seen in high income countries,” said Viswanathan Mohan, president, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, the national coordinating centre for the study.

Commissioned by Indian Council of Medical Research, the India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study is the largest national representative analysis of diabetes in the country. While it currently has data from 57,000 people in 15 states, it would cover 1,24,000 people in 28 states when completed.
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