Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem in India and the prevalence has been escalating in the past few decades, finds a study conducted by a Mumbai-based diagnostic chain Metropolis Healthcare.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.
One of the most important tests for diabetics is the glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) test, which gives an indication of the average blood glucose levels for over a three months period.
The higher the HbA1C test value, the greater risk for diabetics for chronic illnesses. A high HbA1C value also means that blood sugar levels have been high. Ideally, HbA1c value should be below 6.4 per cent.
For diabetics, though the number is generally greater than 6.5 per cent, diabetics should maintain HbA1c levels below 7 per cent for optimal health and lower risk of illnesses related to diabetics.
Improving HbA1c by 1 per cent for people with Type 2 diabetes cuts the risk of microvascular complications by 25 per cent.
Metropolis Healthcare study has also shown that people with type 2 diabetes who reduce their HbA1c level by 1 per cent are less likely to suffer cataracts, heart failure, amputation or death due to peripheral vascular diseases.
Head of Laboratory Services of Metropolis Global Reference Laboratory, Kirti Chadha, said: “It is important to increase awareness about the HbA1c test among diabetics. Inadequate blood glucose control, which is reflected in elevated HbA1c levels, increases the risk of late diabetes complications such as diabetic eye and kidney disease.”
Metropolis Healthcare further said that in its study, 43 per cent of samples tested showed high risk —of which, 40 per cent females and 47 per cent males are under high risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
Likewise, the age-wise pattern showed a gradual increase in risk as there is a progression in age. About 50 per cent of samples tested in 50-70 age group showed a high risk of developing diabetes-related complications, Metropolis said.