Purpose: Diabetes is rapidly increasing in India. This study aimed to determine the current prevalence of diabetes and its management in rural and urban India.

Methods: We conducted a large population based cross-sectional survey among 12284 participants aged ≥30 years residing in rural and urban North and South India. Participants were selected using a multistage cluster random sampling technique. Trained personnel collected the data using a questionnaire, measured blood pressure, conducted anthropometry and collected bio-samples. Diabetes was defined as FPG ≥ 126 mg/dl or HbA1C ≥ 6.5% or self-reported physician diagnosis or being on treatment. Control was defined as HbA1C < 7%.

Results: The mean (±SD) age of participants was 49.2 (±12.6) years, women comprised 53% of the sample. The age-standardized prevalence of diabetes was 17.4% (95% CI: 16.7-18.1). The prevalence was higher among men [19.3% (18.3-20.3)], elderly i.e., ≥ 60 years [26.8% (25.1-28.6)], urban residents [23.1% (22.1-24.2)] and in those with higher socioeconomic status [22.5% (21.0-24.1)]. Nearly, one-third participants had prediabetes [29.7% (28.9-30.5)] and there were no rural-urban, gender or socioeconomic differences. The awareness and treatment [49.1% (46.8-51.4), 43.3% (41.0-45.5)] rates respectively, were poor among diabetics, who were young (41.9%, 36.0%), rural residents (37.8%,31.5%) and those with lower socioeconomic status (30.1%,28.4%). Overall control rate was 45.5% (42.9-48.1) with no significant differences between the aforementioned groups.

Conclusions: Despite the increasing burden of both diabetes and prediabetes in India, the awareness, treatment and control rates remain suboptimal. Active screening and tailored public education to increase awareness, are essential for promoting early detection and improving management, especially among poor rural populations.


S. Mohan: None. P. Jarhyan: None. G. Sharnngadharan: None. D. Prabhakaran: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.