Prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in 15 states of India: results from the ICMR-INDIAB population-based cross-sectional study

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Aug;5(8):585-596. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30174-2. Epub 2017 Jun 7.


Background: Previous studies have not adequately captured the heterogeneous nature of the diabetes epidemic in India. The aim of the ongoing national Indian Council of Medical Research-INdia DIABetes study is to estimate the national prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in India by estimating the prevalence by state.

Methods: We used a stratified multistage design to obtain a community-based sample of 57 117 individuals aged 20 years or older. The sample population represented 14 of India's 28 states (eight from the mainland and six from the northeast of the country) and one union territory. States were sampled in a phased manner: phase I included Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra, sampled between Nov 17, 2008, and April 16, 2010; phase II included Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Punjab, sampled between Sept 24, 2012, and July 26, 2013; and the northeastern phase included Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya, with sampling done between Jan 5, 2012, and July 3, 2015. Capillary oral glucose tolerance tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes in accordance with WHO criteria. Our methods did not allow us to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in different states was assessed in relation to socioeconomic status (SES) of individuals and the per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) of each state. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to examine the association of various factors with the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes.

Findings: The overall prevalence of diabetes in all 15 states of India was 7·3% (95% CI 7·0-7·5). The prevalence of diabetes varied from 4·3% in Bihar (95% CI 3·7-5·0) to 10·0% (8·7-11·2) in Punjab and was higher in urban areas (11·2%, 10·6-11·8) than in rural areas (5·2%, 4·9-5·4; p<0·0001) and higher in mainland states (8·3%, 7·9-8·7) than in the northeast (5·9%, 5·5-6·2; p<0·0001). Overall, 1862 (47·3%) of 3938 individuals identified as having diabetes had not been diagnosed previously. States with higher per-capita GDP seemed to have a higher prevalence of diabetes (eg, Chandigarh, which had the highest GDP of US$ 3433, had the highest prevalence of 13·6%, 12.8-15·2). In rural areas of all states, diabetes was more prevalent in individuals of higher SES. However, in urban areas of some of the more affluent states (Chandigarh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu), diabetes prevalence was higher in people with lower SES. The overall prevalence of prediabetes in all 15 states was 10·3% (10·0-10·6). The prevalence of prediabetes varied from 6·0% (5·1-6·8) in Mizoram to 14·7% (13·6-15·9) in Tripura, and the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose was generally higher than the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance. Age, male sex, obesity, hypertension, and family history of diabetes were independent risk factors for diabetes in both urban and rural areas.

Interpretation: There are large differences in diabetes prevalence between states in India. Our results show evidence of an epidemiological transition, with a higher prevalence of diabetes in low SES groups in the urban areas of the more economically developed states. The spread of diabetes to economically disadvantaged sections of society is a matter of great concern, warranting urgent preventive measures.

Funding: Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Rural Population
  • Urban Health
  • Urban Population