World Health Day 2016: Unruly lifestyle making India diabetic capital of the world: survey

Three out of five doctors say that ‘unruly lifestyle’ is the major cause of India becoming the diabetic capital of the world, a survey has found. A total of 1,617 doctors responded to questions pertaining to the causes of rise in diabetic cases in India and patients reaction to the treatment modalities during a survey conducted by an app for the doctors community. 58.8 per cent doctors have attributed this to the lifestyle prevalent in modern and competitive India.

Interestingly, family history was considered as a contributing factor by only 7.2 per cent of the doctors, said Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder of an app. The findings of the survey were released on the eve of the World Health Day 2016, theme for which is “Beat Diabetes”.

“Anything processed has added sugar, added salt, and added maida for that matter even Ramdev’s biscuits are processed and not up to the mark. Diabetes is a lifestyle problem, I would strongly recommend 150 minutes per week walking and eating from the farm as much as possible fresh fruits and vegetables should top the chart,” said Dr Sujeet Jha Director Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, Max Healthcare.

The survey also tried to cover adherence which is perhaps the most important reason for prolongment of any disease. 41.5 per cent of the doctors said only 40-60 per cent of the patients adhere to the prescribed drug which is a cause for real concern for a large population like ours.

According to the survey, 33.2 per cent of the doctors feel that 40-60 per cent of their patients check their vitals regularly and whereas 32.6 per cent of the doctors feel that only 20-40 per cent of their patients track their blood sugar regularly. Monitoring blood sugar regularly can have far reaching effects in terms of keeping this menace in check.

“Screening for the pre-diabetic phase is the earliest way to diagnose this condition. Patients who are obese or have a family history of diabetes or suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), should start getting preventive blood tests done from 35 years of age,” said Dr Radhika Jindal, Consultant Endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital.

“If you start with aggressive treatment later on like 10-15 years down the line, then its very hard to prevent complications,” said Dr Ambrish Mittal, Chairman, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Medanta.

The Indian Council of Medical Research India Diabetes Study (ICMR-INDIAB study) showed that India had 62.4 million people with diabetes in 2011. These numbers are projected to increase to 101.2 million by 2030.