Diabetes is a growing global health care problem and it causes severe economic burden to the patients and to the society at large. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health organization (WHO) have estimated that globally there are 366 million with diabetes in 2011 and by 2030 it is predicted to increase to 552 million. People with type 2 diabetes are increasing in every country, but 80% of the diabetes live in low and middle income countries.

It is estimated that nearly 50% of the diabetics are undiagnosed. India has 61.3 million diabetics and it is expected to rise to 101.2 million by 2030. In India, Tamil Nadu is one of the states with the largest number of people, approximately 35.2 lakh with diabetes. This may be attributed to the higher rates of urbanisation and modernisation.

Series of urban and rural epidemiological studies conducted by IDRF have resulted in a wealth of knowledge on various aspects, the pathogenesis, risk factors and temporal changes in the prevalence of diabetes, pre-diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in India.