A study supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research has estimated that 101.3 million people in the country, or 11.4% of the population, are likely to have diabetes.

It also said that 136 million people in India, or 15.3% of the population, could be living with pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not enough to be classified as diabetes.

The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology medical journal, sought to quantify the prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases in India. Metabolism refers to a set of chemical reactions in the body that change food into energy.

M Anjana, the lead author of the study and managing director at Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, said that pre-diabetes levels were higher in states in which the current prevalence of diabetes was low, The Indian Express reported.

“It is a ticking time bomb,” she said. “If you have pre-diabetes, conversion to diabetes is very, very fast in our population; more than 60% of people with pre-diabetes end up converting to diabetes in the next five years.”

The research also said that 39.5% of those who took part in the study had abdominal obesity, while 28.6% had generalised obesity. It also said that 81.2% of those studied have dyslipidaemia, or the imbalance of lipids such as cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein.

The study was based on a survey of 1,13,043 persons in 31 states and Union Territories between 2008 and 2020.