Nearly 98 million people in India may have type 2 diabetes by 2030, according to a study unveiled on Wednesday which found that the number of adults with the disease worldwide is expected rise by over a fifth.
The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, found that the amount of insulin needed to effectively treat type 2 diabetes will rise by more than 20 per cent worldwide over the next 12 years. Without major improvements in access, insulin will be beyond the reach of around half of the 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes who will need it in 2030, said researchers from Stanford University in the US.
The findings are of particular concern for the African, Asian, and Oceania regions which the study predicts will have the largest unmet insulin need in 2030 if access remains at current levels.
Results showed that worldwide, the number of adults with type 2 diabetes is expected rise by more than a fifth from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030. Over half of them will be living in just three countries — China (130 million), India (98 million), and the US (32 million), researchers said.
According to World Health Organization, India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes in 2015.
At the same time, global insulin use is projected to rise from 526 million 1000-unit vials in 2018 to 634 million in 2030, and will be highest in Asia (322 million vials in 2030) and lowest in Oceania (4 million), they said. The analysis underscores the importance of tackling barriers to the insulin market, particularly in Africa.
“These estimates suggest that current levels of insulin access are highly inadequate compared to projected need, particularly in Africa and Asia, and more efforts should be devoted to overcoming this looming health challenge,” said Sanjay Basu from Stanford University, who led the research.
“Despite the UN’s commitment to treat non-communicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily difficult for patients to access,” said Basu.
“The number of adults with type 2 diabetes is expected to rise over the next 12 years due to ageing, urbanisation, and associated changes in diet and physical activity.