eCite Digital Repository

Prevalence and trends of the diabetes epidemic in South Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Jayawardena, R and Ranasinghe, P and Byrne, NM and Soares, MJ and Katulanda, P and Hills, AP, Prevalence and trends of the diabetes epidemic in South Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC public health, 12 Article 380. ISSN 1471-2458 (2012) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2012 Jayawardena et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-380


Background: Diabetes mellitus has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. South Asians are known to have an increased predisposition for diabetes which has become an important health concern in the region. We discuss the prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in South Asia and explore the differential risk factors reported.

Methods: Prevalence data were obtained by searching the Medline database with; 'prediabetes' and 'diabetes mellitus' (MeSH major topic) and 'Epidemology/EP' (MeSH subheading). Search limits were articles in English, between 01/01/1980-31/12/2011, on human adults (≥19 years). The conjunction of the above results was narrowed down with country names.

Results: The most recent reported prevalence of pre-diabetes:diabetes in regional countries were; Bangladesh - 4.7%:8.5% (2004-2005; Rural), India - 4.6%:12.5% (2007; Rural); Maldives - 3.0%:3.7% (2004; National), Nepal - 19.5%:9.5% (2007; Urban), Pakistan - 3.0%:7.2% (2002; Rural), Sri Lanka - 11.5%:10.3% (2005-2006; National). Urban populations demonstrated a higher prevalence of diabetes. An increasing trend in prevalence of diabetes was observed in urban/rural India and rural Sri Lanka. The diabetes epidemicity index decreased with the increasing prevalence of diabetes in respective countries. A high epidemicity index was seen in Sri Lanka (2005/2006-52.8%), while for other countries, the epidemicity index was comparatively low (rural India 2007 - 26.9%; urban India 2002/2005-31.3%, and urban Bangladesh - 33.1%). Family history, urban residency, age, higher BMI, sedentary lifestyle, hypertension and waist-hip ratio were associated with an increased risks of diabetes.

Conclusion: A significant epidemic of diabetes is present in the South Asian region with a rapid increase in prevalence over the last two decades. Hence there is a need for urgent preventive and curative strategies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:diabetes mellitus, South Asia, epidemiology, prevalence, trends, risk factors
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Other Indigenous
Objective Field:Other Indigenous not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Byrne, NM (Professor Nuala Byrne)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:110705
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:167
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-08-10
Last Modified:2017-12-15
Downloads:123 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page