DOI: 10.1002/alz.079496 ISSN: 1552-5260

A Comparison of the Prevalence of Diabetes between Aging Rural and Urban Indians.

SHRUTI PANDEY, Abhishek Mensegere Lingegodwa, Palash Kumar Malo, Shafeeq K Shahul Hameed, Thomas Gregor Issac, Jonas S. Sundarakumar
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Diabetes is one of the important modifiable risk factors for dementia. Its prevalence has been increasing rapidly in the past few decades across the world, particularly in India. However, among Indians, there are prominent lifestyle differences between rural and urban residents. Hence, understanding diabetes prevalence in these two distinct populations is essential to understand the differential risk for dementia in rural and urban Indians.


Cross‐sectional (baseline) clinical data from two ongoing prospective cohort studies, namely Srinivaspura Aging, Neuro Senescence and Cognition (SANSCOG) study in rural India and Tata Longitudinal Study of Aging (TLSA) in urban India was utilized for the present study. A total of 6002 participants – 4913 rural (SANSCOG) and 1089 urban (TLSA) were included. Diagnosis of diabetes was made using self‐reported history and / or fasting blood glucose level of > 126 mg/dl. Chi‐square test of independence was used to assess the group differences between the rural and urban participants – both overall and gender‐wise and age group‐wise.


The mean age of participants was 63.93 ± 9.56 years and 58.74 ± 9.88 years for the urban and rural cohorts, respectively. Prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher in urban than rural subjects – overall (33.6% vs. 19.3%, p<0.001) as well as among males (38.4% vs. 24.1%, p<0.001) and females (28.7% vs. 14.8%, p<0.001). Similarly, on age stratification, urban subjects had significantly higher prevalence than rural subjects in the age groups <65 years (28.1% vs. 18.3%, p<0.001) and ≥65 years (39.5%vs. 21.3%, p<0.001).


Urban subjects had significantly higher diabetes prevalence than rural subjects across both genders and age groups. In view of the association of diabetes with dementia risk, these findings could imply that urban Indians may be at higher risk for pathological cognitive impairment and dementia as compared to their rural counterparts. However, longitudinal follow of these participants with cognitive monitoring is required to establish a causal association.

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