Economic Impact of Diabetes in South Asia: the Magnitude of the Problem

With an estimated 84 million people suffering from diabetes in South Asia, the disease imposes substantial economic burdens on individuals, families, and society. Furthermore, since the disease burden increasingly occurs in the most productive midlife period, it adversely affects workforce productivity and macroeconomic development. Diabetes-related complications lead to markedly higher treatment costs, causing catastrophic medical spending for many households, thus underscoring the importance of preventing diabetes-related complications.

This review describes the unique features of the diabetes epidemic in South Asia, critically assesses and identifies the gaps in the current literature on the economic impact of diabetes in South Asia, and finally, offers recommendations on ways to mitigate the economic burden of diabetes.