Diabetes is a major health care problem in India. There are an estimated 30 million persons with diabetes, majority living in urban areas. Over 98% are believed to have Type 2 diabetes. There are no reliable figures on how many are diagnosed and how many treated. Based on sales of antidiabetic pharmaceuticals, we estimate that a meagre 10-12% receive modern pharmacological treatment.
All involved with diabetes care agree that patients play a major role in the successful management of diabetes. To be able to provide comprehensive care including appropriate education and advice it is essential to understand perceptions, attitudes and practices amongst patients with diabetes. Such studies are rarely conducted, and if conducted rarely reported. Physician’s often decide on what is good for the patient based on their better knowledge of the disease and their assumptions are at best empirical.