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Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases in India: Public Health Challenges

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 1 ]


U. Shrivastava, A. Misra, V. Mohan, R. Unnikrishnan and D. Bachani   Pages 65 - 80 ( 16 )


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs; including coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes) are rapidly increasing in India causing nearly 5.8 million deaths per year. Primary reasons for rise in NCDs in India are nutrition and lifestyle transitions. Further, presence of higher body fat, abdominal fat, liver and pancreatic fat and lower lean mass than whites, contribute to heightened metabolic and cardiovascular risk in Asian Indians. Importantly, conversion from pre-diabetes to diabetes occurs more rapidly, and reversion to normal glucose regulation with appropriate lifestyle measures is more difficult in Asian Indians than white population. Huge number of patients with diabetes and with complications increase morbidity, mortality and pose substantial economic burden. It is difficult, though not impossible, to decrease pace of rapidly expanding juggernaut of NCDs in India. Only concerted efforts from multiple stakeholders, consistently sincere efforts and intensely focused attention from health officialdom and clear political will may help counter this increasingly difficult challenge. Finally, all prevention and management approaches should be cost-effective, pragmatic, and focused on children and underprivileged populations.


Asian Indians, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, obesity.


Fortis-C-DOC Hospital for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, B-16, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi, India.

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