In economically better off states like Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura and Manipur, and UTs like Chandigarh, diabetes is more common in rural areas than in urban areas. But in contrast to urban areas, diabetes was more common in individuals of higher socio-economic status in rural areas of all states.
“The spread of diabetes to economically disadvantaged sections of society is a matter of great concern, warranting urgent preventive measures,” the study said.
In urban Chandigarh, diabetes among the lower socio-economic strata or poor people was as high as 26.9%, double the incidence (12.9%) for the well off. In Bihar, the trend was reversed with incidence among poor in urban areas only 4.7%, compared to 5.4% among the rich.
Experts identify lifestyle as a major cause of increasing diabetes in affluent states. “Urban poor are usually migrants. They undergo a big change in diet and stress levels. Less healthy food and less exercise can be causes of diabetes,” said Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis C-DoC.
The overall prevalence of diabetes in the country was 7.3%, while 10.3% population in the pre-diabetic stage. The study was commissioned by the government.