Viswanathan Mohan print  
Chairman & Chief of Diabetology, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and President & Director, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation,
Gopalapuram, Chennai – 600 086, India.
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DR. V. Mohan is one of India’s leading diabetologists and is presently the Chairman and Chief of Diabetology of the Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and President and Director of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation at Gopalapuram, Chennai. A student of the Madras Medical College, Dr.Mohan was awarded several prizes during his undergraduate course and the Dr. R.V. Rajam Gold Medal for standing first in the University in the M.D. examination. Deeply interested in research even from his undergraduate days, Dr.Mohan has published over 400 original research papers in prestigious peer reviewed journals. He has also contributed chapters to over 50 text-books on diabetes. His main research interests are in epidemiology of diabetes and its complications and genomics of diabetes.
DIABETES EPIDEMIC IN INDIA The World Health Organization reports indicate that India leads the world with the largest number of diabetic subjects (32 million). These numbers are projected to increase to 79.4 million people in the year 2030, which is 20% of the world’s diabetic population. Population based studies conducted by us, the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES) reveals a rising prevalence of diabetes in urban India with figures ranging between 12 - 16%, which is in sharp contrast to 2% reported in 1970’s. There are several peculiarities of Type 2 diabetes among Indians: [1] It occurs 2-3 decades earlier compared to Europeans, [2] Genetic factors are stronger than in Europeans [3] Coronary artery disease is more common, while microvascular complications like retinopathy are less common compared to Europeans. These ethnic differences could be due to genetic factors. Our studies indicate that some genes like the Pro12Ala polymorphism of the PPARg gene which are known to be protective against diabetes in Europeans does not offer protection to Indians. The Thr394Thr(G/A) polymorphism in PGC-1 gene which is strongly associated with diabetes as well as body fat in Indians has not been reported in other populations. However, it is the rapid epidemiological transition accompanied by sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet that is responsible for the epidemic of diabetes in India. Unfortunately awareness of diabetes remains very low with only 10% of people being aware that obesity and physical inactivity could predispose to diabetes. This emphasizes the need for increasing diabetes awareness activities in India and for more research into its causation.