Challenges in diabetes care in India: sheer numbers, lack of awareness and inadequate control

J Assoc Physicians India. 2008 Jun;56:443-50.


With an estimated 40 million people suffering from the condition, the largest in any country in the world, diabetes has become a major health care problem in India. Recent epidemiological studies from India point to the great burden due to diabetes and its micro and macrovascular complications. This is primarily because the status of diabetes control in India is far from ideal. Based on the available data, the mean glycated hemoglobin levels are around 9% which is at least 2% higher than the goal currently suggested by international bodies. The IMPROVE study has helped identify the barriers to good control of diabetes both among patients as well as physicians in today's practice. However the recent ACCORD study points to the dangers of overaggressive treatment, especially in high risk in elderly patients. A balanced approach to improve awareness about diabetes and its control both among patients and the medical fraternity is urgent need of the hour in India. The associated risks of tight control in high risk groups should also be kept in mind.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk