Diabetes is the most common metabolic disorder in the world. The World Health Organization estimates the total number of persons with diabetes to be 171 million as of 2000. The disorder is most prevalent in south Asia, especially in India, which with, 41 million individuals with diabetes, has earned the unwelcome sobriquet of the “Diabetes Capital” of the world. More worryingly, this number is set to increase to 70 million by 2025, more than 10 million more than China, which lies in second place.

The personal, social and economic costs of diabetes are huge and are likely to adversely affect India’s economic development over the next couple of decades. Unless urgent steps are taken to thwart this burgeoning epidemic, more and more young and middle-aged Indians will fall prey to diabetes in the prime of their lives. The first step to combating any epidemic is to gather all available information about it. Till recently, efforts to tackle the diabetes epidemic in India were hamstrung by the lack of quality original data emanating from the country itself. It was also evident to researchers in this field that the data obtained from Western populations could not be directly extrapolated to Indians, since the natural history of diabetes in Indians is quite different from other ethnic groups.

Recognizing the need for a world class research institute to conduct studies on diabetes and its complications in India, Dr. V. Mohan and Dr. M. Rema established the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in 1996. From its humble beginnings in a small room, MDRF has gone from strength to strength and is now recognized worldwide as a premier research institute for diabetes and its complications. Come join us for a journey through the world of diabetes research!

Visit the website of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) for more information or website of Eprints@MDRF to see the Open Access research outputs repository of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation.