Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes in India

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2021 Nov;69(11):2932-2938. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1627_21.


The burden of diabetes is high and increasing globally, and in developing economies like India, mainly fueled by the increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. The estimates in 2019 showed that 77 million individuals had diabetes in India, which is expected to rise to over 134 million by 2045. Approximately 57% of these individuals remain undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for majority of the cases, can lead to multiorgan complications, broadly divided into microvascular and macrovascular complications. These complications are a significant cause for increased premature morbidity and mortality among individuals with diabetes, leading to reduced life expectancy and financial and other costs of diabetes leading to profound economic burden on the Indian health care system. The risk for diabetes is largely influence by ethnicity, age, obesity and physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and behavioral habits in addition to genetics and family history. Good control of blood sugar blood pressure and blood lipid levels can prevent and/or delay the onset of diabetes complications. The prevention and management of diabetes and associated complications is a huge challenge in India due to several issues and barriers, including lack of multisectoral approach, surveillance data, awareness regarding diabetes, its risk factors and complications, access to health care settings, access to affordable medicines, etc. Thus, effective health promotion and primary prevention, at both, individual and population levels are the need of the hour to curb the diabetes epidemic and reduce diabetes-related complications in India.

Keywords: Burden; complications; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Life Style
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors