Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in India: A systematic review (1994-2018)

Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep-Oct;14(5):897-906. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2020.05.040. Epub 2020 May 30.


Aim: To conduct a systematic and critical review of published studies on prevalence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in urban and rural areas of India.

Methods: We conducted a literature search in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science using the terms 'prevalence', 'Type 2 diabetes, 'India', 'urban' and 'rural' for English language articles published during January 1994-December 2018. We selected articles that reported the results of original studies that randomly sampled adults aged 15-80 years, and which reported T2DM prevalence based on the actual examination of blood samples.

Results: Of 1751 articles screened by titles and abstracts, 37 fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Majority (28 of 37; 76%) of studies were from South India, especially from the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. The prevalence of T2DM showed a wide range from 1.9% to 25.2%. Only 11 studies covering 24 regions separately reported the data by urban or rural location. Albeit inconsistent, 17 studies reported prevalence of T2DM by age group.

Conclusion: In this systematic review, we show that there remains an ambiguity about the actual prevalence of T2DM from India due to several factors. The findings underscore a strong need for having periodic regional surveillance involving appropriate epidemiological methods.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*