Diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease. In 2000, India (31.7 million) topped the world with the highest number of people with diabetes mellitus followed by China (20.8 million) with the United States (17.7 million) in second and third place respectively. According to Wild et al.the prevalence of diabetes is predicted to double globally from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030 with a maximum increase in India. It is predicted that by 2030 diabetes mellitus may afflict up to 79.4 million individuals in India, while China (42.3 million) and the United States (30.3 million) will also see significant increases in those affected by the disease.
Worryingly, diabetes is now being shown to be associated with a spectrum of complications and to be occurring at a relatively younger age within the country. In India, the steady migration of people from rural to urban areas, the economic boom, and corresponding change in life-style are all affecting the level of diabetes.