26.1 percent of people age 60 and over in urban India have been diagnosed with high blood sugar levels, according to the latest survey report.
According to the Union Ministry of Family and Health (MoFHW) study, 9.3 percent of seniors living in rural India are diagnosed with the disease.
Indians over 45 years of age were diagnosed with diabetes or high blood sugar levels at 11.5 percent, the report said.
The prevalence was higher among seniors (14 percent) than seniors aged 45 to 59 (9 percent), India’s first longitudinal aging study that surveyed over 72,000 older Indians between April 2017 and December 2018.
Although there are no gender differences in the number of cases of diabetes mellitus among seniors, those in the richest quintile reported a prevalence twice as high as the poorest quintile.
Almost half of working seniors had diabetes than those who have worked in the past or have never worked.
Areas with a high prevalence of the disease are in the southern states and Union Territories (UT).
In Delhi and Punjab, more than 20 percent of the elderly and more than 15 percent of the 45 to 59 year old age group were diagnosed with diabetes.
The central region of the country had a low prevalence, while many northeastern states reported higher numbers of diabetes patients.
Kerala had most of the people with diabetes. Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar had a small proportion (less than 8 percent) of the cases.
The percentage of seniors being treated for diabetes was greater than 60 percent in all states and UTs except Arunachal Pradesh, where the rate is only 36 percent.
Puducherry, Goa, Chandigarh, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, and the southern states except Kerala reported a treatment rate of greater than 90 percent in the elderly.
Unlike in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana and Daman & Diu, the percentage of people treated for diabetes was higher among senior citizens than among 45 to 59 year olds.