Indians in particular have high ethnic and genetic predisposition for the disease and also have lower threshold limits for the environmental risk factors. It is a matter of major concern that Indians develop diabetes at a younger age than the western populations. They also develop diabetes with minor weight gain.
Indians have peculiar characteristics due to which great economic and health care burden ensue.
- Young age at onset. Diabetes is common even among people in their thirties.
- Diabetes develops even in “normal weight” people.
- Patients seek medical help at a late stage due to lack of awareness and economic reasons. Therefore occurrence of complications and metabolic risk factors are very common.
- Cultural and social factors are important. The Indian diet is rich in carbohydrates and saturated fats. A typical Indian diet has more calories and sugar than required by the body. This is the cause of obesity, which in turn leads to diabetes.
- Urban migration and change in The younger generations are increasingly choosing a sedentary lifestyle. With rising standard of living comes the tendency to consume processed sugary foods.
- Body mass index (BMI) of >23 kg/m2.
- Waist circumference of 90 cm for men and 80 cm for women in Asian Indians.
- For a given BMI, Asian Indians have higher central adiposity.
- Higher insulin resistance amongst Indians, and this is partly explained by higher body fat percentage.
- Infectious complications are more common resulting in hospitalization.Cost of treatment is very high. Therefore people tend to neglect regular treatment.
- Illiteracy leads to non-compliance.
- A. Ramachandran, C. Snehalatha, V. Vijay; Low risk threshold for acquired diabetogenic factors in Asian Indians; Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 65 (2004) 189–195