Monday, 11 October 2021

Migration from rural to urban areas

 Migration from rural to urban areas 

markedly increases diabetes rates

A detailed study was conducted as part of the nation-wide ICMR–INDIAB study. This study was conducted on 1,13,043 participants aged ≥20 years across 28 states and 2 union territories of India. The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of diabetes as well as other metabolic disorders including hypertension and obesity among the migrant and non-migrant residing at urban and rural areas of India.  The study was led by Dr. R. Guha Pradeepa, Senior Scientist at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) Chennai along with a team of scientists.

Commenting on the study, Dr. R. Guha Pradeepa, the first author of the study said “The prevalence of diabetes was 14.7% among rural to urban migrants, 13.2% among those permanently residing in urban areas, 12.7% among urban to rural migrants and 7.7% among those who were permanently residing in rural areas rural dwellers. Over half of the population who migrated from rural to urban areas had abdominal obesity (i.e., increased waist circumference) and this was considerably higher compared to the other three groups. The risk for diabetes was nearly two times higher in those who migrated from rural to urban areas compared to rural occupants. Five risk factors [hypertension, abdominal and generalized obesity, physical inactivity and low fruit and vegetable intake] together explained 70% of increase of diabetes rates among the migrants from rural to urban areas.”

Commenting further on the study, Dr. V Mohan, Chairman, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and President , MDRF said “This study proves that the prevalence and risk of diabetes as well as other metabolic disorders were higher in urban residents especially in migrants from rural areas. This could be attributed to change in diet, exercise and possibly other less studied factors like stress and environmental pollution etc. Dr. R.M. Anjana, Vice-President, MDRF said “To control this epidemic of diabetes and other metabolic disorders in India, prevention programmes must be conducted with an emphasis on healthy lifestyle for those living in the urban settings irrespective of their place of origin, but now we need to specially focus on migrants from rural areas”.

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