New Delhi: The prevalence of diabetes in India has remained at 11.8% in the last four years, according to the National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey report released by the health and family welfare ministry on Thursday.

The survey conducted during 2015-2019 by Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi also showed that the prevalence of known diabetes cases was 8.0% and new diabetes cases was 3.8%.

“Males showed a similar prevalence of diabetes (12%) as females (11.7%). Known diabetics comprised 67.3% participants, while 32.7% were new diabetics. Highest prevalence of diabetes was observed in 70-79 years age group at 13.2%. Nearly 40% of known diabetes were diagnosed 1-4 years back while 5.3% of known diabetes cases reported diagnosis within past one-year," the report said.

Under the survey, prevalence of diabetes among 63,000 enumerated population aged up to 50 years in 21 districts, 56,771 or 90.1% were assessed for diabetes.

Paras Jain/Mint
Paras Jain/Mint


When diabetic retinopathy among diabetics was assessed during the survey, the prevalence of any form of diabetic retinopathy in diabetic population aged up to 50 years was found to be 16.9%.

“Mild retinopathy was the most common with prevalence of 11.8%. We observed 7% participants had any form of diabetic maculopathy. The prevalence of sight threatening diabetic retinopathy was 3.6%. The prevalence of DR was similar among males (17.0%) and females (16.7%), the report said.

“The prevalence of DR (diabetic retinopathy) in the 60-69 years age group was 18.6%, 70-79 years was 18.3% and >80 years was 18.4% while a lower prevalence of 14.3% was observed in the 50-59 years age group," the report said.

Prevalence of blindness among diabetics was 2.1% and visual impairment was 13.7%. Blindness and visual impairment were comparable in diabetics and non-diabetics.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age as 8.5% in 2014. There are estimated 72.96 million cases of diabetes in adult population of India. The prevalence in urban areas ranges between 10.9% and 14.2% and prevalence in rural India was 3.0-7.8% among population aged 20 years and above with a much higher prevalence among individuals aged over 50 years (INDIAB Study).

Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy have been emerging as a significant non-communicable disease leading to ocular morbidity. It is estimated that diabetic retinopathy was responsible for 1.06% of blindness and 1.16% of visual impairment globally in 2015. There are no recent studies on the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in different parts of India. This makes it difficult to identify where diabetic retinopathy screening and treatment programmes are most needed, the government said.

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