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Sponsored: The bittersweet truth about diabetes in India

 

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Indeed, diabetes is a huge health hazard in India and everyday its further spreading like wildfire. Even as nations prepare to celebrate World Diabetes Day on November 14, WHO studies claim about 80% of the diabetes deaths occur in middle-income countries. And about 1 million people passed away from diabetes two years ago.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India is currently home to over 61 million people with diabetes, an increase from 50.8 million in 2011. By 2030, India’s diabetes burden is expected to cross the 100 million mark as against 87 million estimated earlier.

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The irony of the situation is that nearly 5 out of 10 Indians with diabetes aren’t even aware that they have diabetes , a disease that exposes them to heart attack, stroke, amputations, nerve damage, blindness and kidney disease. Almost every organ in the body can be adversely affected with the onslaught of diabetes but with timely intervention and care, the disease can be contained and complications can be prevented.

Diabetes affects people all over the country. Diabetes affects people both in urban and rural India though the impact on urban India is higher (2). Moreover, Indians get diabetes on an average 10 years earlier than their Western counterparts (3).

The factors contributing to our susceptibility to develop diabetes include:

1. Genetic – We have an increased predisposition to develop diabetes. A few genes have been identified which trigger diabetes making Indians four times more likely than Europeans to develop diabetes.

2. Diet – A typical Indian dietary profile includes high intake of carbohydrates, calories, total fat, saturated fat and sugar leading to obesity and thus increasing the diabetes prence rates.

As the number of people with diabetes grows, the disease consumes an ever-increasing proportion of health care budgets. Costs of diabetes care are alarmingly high. If one adult in a low-income family has diabetes, out of every Rs 100, Rs 25 will need to be devoted to diabetes care (4).

The costs of diabetes-care and medical facilities actually impact all. It is not only a financial hassle, but also the intangible costs like pain, anxiety, inconvenience and generally lower quality of life that poses great impact on the lives of patients and their families and On a brighter note, all kinds of associated pain can be avoided totally, if we watch our daily diet, lifestyle and not to forget the blood sugar levels on regular basis to prevent any major health issue later on in life.

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