Survey unveils India's rising tide of metabolic diseases

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A large-scale survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research finds a considerably high prevalence of non-communicable metabolic diseases in many Indian states.

A detailed report is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Study: Metabolic non-communicable disease health report of India: the ICMR-INDIAB national cross-sectional study (ICMR-INDIAB-17). Image Credit: WESTOCK PRODUCTIONS / ShutterstockStudy: Metabolic non-communicable disease health report of India: the ICMR-INDIAB national cross-sectional study (ICMR-INDIAB-17). Image Credit: WESTOCK PRODUCTIONS / Shutterstock


The prevalence of non-communicable metabolic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia, is gradually increasing in India and other South Asian countries. Several studies analyzing self-reported disease prevalence have found a high total burden of diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia in India.

However, the major drawbacks of these studies are the absence of robust diagnostic methodologies and a truly representative population of the country. Furthermore, there are wide variations in ethnic compositions, dietary habits, and socioeconomic status between Indian states and regions. Thus, estimating the prevalence of non-communicable diseases will likely mask vast inter-regional and intra-regional differences.

The Indian Council of Medical Research-India Diabetes study was initiated to estimate the prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, prediabetes, dysglycemia, hypertension, obesity (generalized and abdominal), and dyslipidemia in 28 Indian states, two union territories, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Study design

This cross-sectional population-based survey involved a representative population of individuals aged 20 years and above residing in urban and rural Indian regions. A total of 113,043 individuals participated in the survey between October 2008 and December 2020.

The analysis considered a three-level stratification based on each state's geography, population size, and socioeconomic status.

Diabetes and prediabetes were diagnosed using the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Hypertension was diagnosed using the Eighth Joint National Committee guidelines. Obesity was diagnosed using the WHO Asia Pacific guidelines, and dyslipidemia was diagnosed using the National Cholesterol Education Program—Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines.  

Overall prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases  

The overall prevalence of diabetes was estimated to be 11.4% in India. The prevalence was significantly higher in urban areas compared to rural areas and among males compared to females.

The overall prevalence of prediabetes and dysglycemia was estimated to be 15.3% and 26.6%, respectively, in India.       

The overall prevalence of hypertension was estimated to be 35.5% in India. Similar to diabetes, the prevalence of hypertension was higher in urban areas and among males. The estimation done using the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association criteria showed almost two times higher prevalence of hypertension (66.3%).

The overall prevalence of generalized obesity, abdominal obesity, and dyslipidemia was estimated to be 28.6%, 39.5%, and 81.2%, respectively. The prevalence of these three diseases was significantly higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Moreover, females showed a significantly higher prevalence of generalized obesity than males.

State-level prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases

The state-level prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes ranged from 4.8% to 26.4% and from 6.8% to 31.3%, respectively. The highest prevalence of diabetes was observed in the southern and northern Indian regions. The prevalence was lower in the central and northeastern regions.

In contrast to diabetes prevalence, the central and northern regions showed the highest prevalence of prediabetes. The lowest prevalence was observed in Punjab, Jharkhand, and some parts of the northeastern region.

The state-level prevalence of hypertension, generalized obesity, and abdominal obesity ranged from 24.3% to 51.8%, from 11.6% to 53.3%, and from 18.4% to 61.2%, respectively. A high prevalence of hypertension was observed across the country except in the central region.

The prevalence of generalized obesity was higher in the southern region, followed by the northern and eastern regions. However, a high prevalence of abdominal obesity was observed throughout the country.

The prevalence of dyslipidemia showed a wide inter-state and inter-regional variability. Specifically, a high prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was observed throughout the country, and the highest prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was observed in the northern region, Kerala, and Goa.

Study significance

The study finds a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes and other metabolic non-communicable diseases in India.

The variability in disease prevalence between states and regions highlights the need for state-specific policies and interventions to prevent serious public health consequences.

Journal reference:
Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta

Written by

Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta

Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta is a science communicator who believes in spreading the power of science in every corner of the world. She has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree and a Master's of Science (M.Sc.) in biology and human physiology. Following her Master's degree, Sanchari went on to study a Ph.D. in human physiology. She has authored more than 10 original research articles, all of which have been published in world renowned international journals.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dutta, Sanchari Sinha Dutta. (2024, April 23). Survey unveils India's rising tide of metabolic diseases. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 28, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Dutta, Sanchari Sinha Dutta. "Survey unveils India's rising tide of metabolic diseases". News-Medical. 28 May 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Dutta, Sanchari Sinha Dutta. "Survey unveils India's rising tide of metabolic diseases". News-Medical. (accessed May 28, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Dutta, Sanchari Sinha Dutta. 2024. Survey unveils India's rising tide of metabolic diseases. News-Medical, viewed 28 May 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Oral semaglutide shows promising results for type 2 diabetes in routine clinical settings