Diabetes mellitus in South Asia: scientific evaluation of the research output.


BACKGROUND Diabetes in South Asia represents a different disease entity in terms of its onset, progression, and complications. In the present study, we systematically analyzed the medical research output on diabetes in South Asia. METHODS The online SciVerse Scopus database was searched using the search terms "diabetes" and "diabetes mellitus" in the article Title, Abstract or Keywords fields, in conjunction with the names of each regional country in the Author Affiliation field. RESULTS In total, 8478 research articles were identified. Most were from India (85.1%) and Pakistan (9.6%) and the contribution to the global diabetes research output was 2.1%. Publications from South Asia increased markedly after 2007, with 58.7% of papers published between 2000 and 2010 being published after 2007. Most papers were Research Articles (75.9%) and Reviews (12.9%), with only 90 (1.1%) clinical trials. Publications predominantly appeared in local national journals. Indian authors and institutions had the most number of articles and the highest h-index. There were 136 (1.6%) intraregional collaborative studies. Only 39 articles (0.46%) had >100 citations. CONCLUSIONS Regional research output on diabetes mellitus is unsatisfactory, with only a minimal contribution to global diabetes research. Publications are not highly cited and only a few randomized controlled trials have been performed. In the coming decades, scientists in the region must collaborate and focus on practical and culturally acceptable interventional studies on diabetes mellitus.


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