Diabetes is a big problem and any respite from it is always welcome. Keeping the Indian context in mind a study on the causes and prevention of diabetes has been conducted.
The best part is that it is a first time study as previous ones were done on only on Western populations.
Chennai-based M V Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre (a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Diabetes in India) conducted the study with the guidance of scientist Dr A Ramachandran. The results appear in Diabetologia, the International Journal of Diabetes.
The shocking revelations came in the form of the results that said that that India has an estimated 35 million diabetics and worse, that nearly 13.3 million cases remain undiagnosed.
The reasons for the rise in diabetes is rapid urbanisation, decreased physical activity, obesity, stress and above all, the low threshold level among Indians to environmental risk factors. The number of cases in urban south Asia is between 12 and 15 percent in the case of urban South Asians. Another startling revelation is that over 50 percent cases of diabetes in rural India and 30 percent in urban areas go undiagnosed.
Indians are also relatively non-obese but highly insulin resistant. The onset of diabetes in Indians is significantly at a young age compared to their Western counterparts.
The study was for three years.
There were four study groups: a control group who were under observation without any medicine or lifestyle modification; a lifestyle modification group (who walked for 30 minutes daily and followed a recommended diet); a group that was given metformin (a diabetes drug), and the fourth group which was given both medication and asked to follow lifestyle modification.
The results were as follows:-
55 percent of the control group had diabetes. 39.3 percent of those who followed a diet and exercise also had diabetes. 40.5 percent of those on medicine had the disease. 39.5 on medicine, diet and exercise were afflicted.
The solution to the problem is to modify ones diet and lifestyle to suit ones needs.