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Diabetes in South Asians 

Diabetes in South Asians
Diabetes in South Asians

A. Ramachandran

and C. Snehalatha

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date: 27 January 2022

Developing countries, mainly in the Indian subcontinent and China, contribute nearly 80% to the rising global diabetic population. Conservative estimates, based on population growth, ageing of population, and rate of urbanization in Asia, show that India and China will remain the top two countries with the highest number of people with diabetes by 2025: 71 and 38 million, respectively. Two other South Asian countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh, also are in the top ten list. The South Asian populations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are racially heterogeneous, but all have high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Type 1 diabetes is relatively less common, and nearly 95% of all diabetic cases in these regions are type 2 diabetes. The steady rise in the prevalence of diabetes seen in last three decades coincides with rapid urbanization and industrialization, and associated sociological and political changes, occurring in these countries (1). Among the populations, physical activity has reduced significantly, intake of energy-dense food has increased, and mental and physical stress factors associated with urban living have also increased. A tilt in the energy balance towards conservation and fat deposition has contributed to the alarming increase in the rate of obesity, both in adults and children.

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