Diabetes Test
Diabetic patients are at greater risk of developing brain diseases.AlishaV/Flickr

The number of diabetes patients is likely to rise to 101 million in India by 2030, estimates the World Health Organisation (WHO). The number doubled to 63 million in 2013 from 32 million in 2000 in the country.

The states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had the highest prevalence of diabetes in India, the Times of India reported. Nearly 8.2 percent of the adult male population in India suffered from diabetes whereas 6.8 percent of adult women were diabetic.

The number of diabetic deaths stood at 75,900 for Indian men aged between 30-69 years as against 51,700 women in the same age group. Diabetes, although not as fatal as other non-communicable diseases as cancer and heart diseases, digs a bigger hole in pocket due to the treatment costs involved and the reduced productivity of patients in the later years of the disease.

The WHO urged South-East Asian countries to take concrete action for prevention and treatment of diabetes. The organisation reports South-East Asia had a diabetic population of 46,903,000 which is expected to reach 119,541,000 by 2030.

"Diabetes rarely makes headlines, and yet it will be the world's seventh largest killer by 2030 unless intense and focused efforts are made by governments, communities and individuals," Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia, said in a statement. She added that diabetes is of particular concern in South East Asia, where one out of every four of the 3.7 million globally-reported diabetes-related deaths occurs.

The WHO has urged governments to regulate the marketing of unhealthy foods and tax sugary beverages. "The governments must also increase access to health care and promote educational campaigns regarding self-management and control, as well as making treatment less costly. Diabetes can be managed successfully. It does not have to lead to complications or be fatal," Singh said.

The WHO has decided to dedicate this year's World Health Day on April 7 to the theme of diabetes.