Mumbai: With diabetes affecting a large section of India's population, the chronic health condition can adversely affect the country's economic growth, experts have warned.
"The financial burden of diabetes on India over the next 10 years can increase drastically and threaten the productivity level of the workforce in the country and loss of national income," said Dr. Avinash Phadke of SRL Diagnostics in Mumbai.
"Diabetes must be made a national health priority, else it will impact India's growth as an emerging economy," Phadke said.
A recent study from the University of East Anglia showed that diabetes reduces people's employment chances and wages around the world.
The study published earlier this year in the journal PharmacoEconomics looked into the economic impact of Type-II diabetes worldwide.
They were surprised to find not only a large cost burden in high-income countries, but also in low and middle-income countries - where people with diabetes and their families face high costs for treatment.
"Diabetes affects 382 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow to 592 million by 2035. It is a chronic disease that has spread widely in recent decades - not only in high-income countries, but also in many populous low and middle-income countries such as India and China," said lead researcher Till Seuring.
Phadke said that diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with more than 62 million individuals currently diagnosed with the disease.
"It may affect 79.4 million individuals by 2030," Phadke pointed out.