“According to International Diabetes Federation(IDF) Diabetes Atlas (7th Edition), China has the largest number of diabetes (11.43 cr.), followed by India (7.29 cr.) in 2017. As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4); 2015-16, 5.8 % women and 8.0 % men in India are having blood sugar level above 140 mg/dl, in the age group of 15-49 years,” said Anupriya Patel.
The factors responsible for increase in diabetes are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, over-weight/obesity, tobacco use etc.
The Government of India is implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) for interventions up to district level under the National Health Mission (NHM).
It has focus on awareness generation for behaviour and life-style changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral (if required) to higher facilities for appropriate management for Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs) including diabetes.
Under NPCDCS, testing, diagnosis and treatment facilities for diabetes are provided through different levels of healthcare by setting up NCD Clinics in district hospitals and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The treatment is either free or highly subsidised for the poor and needy. Endocrinology is one of the focus area of the new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and many other institutions upgraded under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
A population level initiative of prevention, control and screening for common NCDs (diabetes, hypertension and cancer viz. oral, breast and cervical cancer) has been rolled out in 2017-18 under NHM, as a part of comprehensive primary healthcare.
Under the initiative, frontline health workers such as Accredited Social Health Activists and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives, inter alia, are leveraged to carry out screening and generate awareness about the risk factors of NCDs among the masses. The initiative is under implementation in more than 150 districts across the country.
Dr Pradeep Gadge, a Mumbai-based Diabetologist at Gadge Diabetes Centre, said, “A few years back, people would have diabetes, but it was generally because they had a family history of the disease. But today people are primarily suffering from diabetes due to a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of physical activity.”
Dr Jagannath Dixit, Professor and Head of Department (HOD) of Community Medicine at Government Medical College, Latur, informed, “Type 2 diabetes has been increased within the age group of 20 years and above. There are several reasons which can cause diabetes. But a driving factor, behind the rise in diabetes is the habit of frequently eating outside of designated mealtimes. Snacking can eventually lead to insulin resistance.”