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The Impact of Diabetes on Productivity in India

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posted on 21.10.2021, 16:36 authored by Khyati K Banker, Danny Liew, Zanfina Ademi, Alice J Owen, Afsana Afroz, Dianna J Magliano, Ella Zomer
OBJECTIVE Diabetes increases the risk of premature mortality and considerably impacts on work productivity. We sought to examine the impact of diabetes in India, in terms of excess premature mortality, years of life lost (YLL), productivity-adjusted life years (PALYs) lost and its associated economic impact.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A lifetable model was constructed to examine the productivity of the Indian working-age population currently aged 20–59 years with diabetes, until death or retirement age (60 years). The same cohort was re-simulated, hypothetically assuming that they did not have diabetes. The total difference between the two cohorts, in terms of excess deaths, YLL and PALYs lost reflected the impact of diabetes. Data regarding the prevalence of diabetes, mortality, labour force dropouts and productivity loss attributable to diabetes were derived from published sources.

RESULTS In 2017, an estimated 54.4 million (7.6%) people of working-age in India had diabetes. With simulated follow-up until death or retirement age, diabetes was predicted to cause 8.5 million excess deaths (62.7% of all deaths), 42.7 million YLL (7.4% of total estimated years of life lived) and 89.0 million PALYs lost (23.3% of total estimated PALYs), equating to an estimated INR 176.6 trillion (USD 2.6 trillion; PPP 9.8 trillion) in lost GDP.

CONCLUSIONS Our study demonstrates the impact of diabetes on productivity loss and highlights the importance of health strategies aimed at the prevention of diabetes.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.