New Delhi: India had the dubious distinction of being home to 3.2 crore diabetics in 2000 and the number is projected to rise to a whopping eight crore by 2030, according to World Health Organization estimates.

 Increase in prevalence is rapid in urban areas -- from 12 per cent in 2000 to a predicted 32 per cent in 2025-- and in rural areas also it has begun to rise.

   “Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) accounts for over 90-95 per cent of all diabetics in the country and is characterised by insulin resistance and abnormal insulin secretion either of which may predominate. A total of 93 per cent of Type 2 diabetics spend from their savings for treating the disorder,” Advisor- National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes- Dr Naresh Purohit told Vibrant News.

A study begun in 2019 by the Interstate Cooperative Diabetes Research Group reveals that only 5.9 per cent of sufferers are reimbursed by employers and less than 2 per cent possess health insurance cover. What makes matters worse are cardiac and renal diseases – fallout of diabetes – which would require either surgery or transplant and expensive drugs for life.

   “Estimating the cost factor, a diabetic taking medicine sans insulin would have to shell out Rs 1,000 per month whereas purchasing drugs including insulin would cost Rs 2,500 a month. In advanced cases, Rs 6,000 per month are required,” said Dr Purohit- the study’s Principal Investigator and Executor.

 In India, approximately one to two lakh persons succumb to diabetes-related conditions annually. At least 20 per cent of diabetics develop heart diseases or retinopathy and an equal percentage develop kidney illness. Tackling diabetes requires a healthy lifestyle with focus on enhanced physical activity and a balanced diet to attain and maintain desirable body weight,  normoglycaemia and control of hypertension.