Alarming trend: Urban poor in India most vulnerable to diabetes

The study revealed an alarming rise in the prevalence of diabetes in urban poor especially in the affluent states of India. Furthermore, it reflected that the prevalence of diabetes in urban India 11.2 per cent is twice that of rural India 5.2 per cent

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Diabetes has now become the most common disease ever. To help us understand the problem of diabetes and its prevalence along with pre-diabetes in 15 states of India, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF), a part of Dr Mohan’s Specialty Center released a Lancet report

The report stated that diabetes was more common among people with higher socio-economic status, compared to people with low socio-economic status. Most experts believe that it is so because of the lifestyle that they follow. “Yes, I completely agree with this. This is majorly so because of our lifestyle. Obesity is a very common reason these days. There is not much physical activity that we undertake. Obesity among children and teenagers is a major cause of diabetes due to the lack of any physical activity. They all are so addicted to social media that their lifestyle barely calls for physical activity” said Dr Shehla Shaikh, consulting endocrinologist at Saifee and Wockhardt hospital.

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The report further added that, there is an alarming increase in the prevalence of diabetes among the urban poor in the seven of India’s affluent states including Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The study revealed an alarming rise in the prevalence of diabetes in urban poor especially in the affluent states of India. Furthermore, it reflected that the prevalence of diabetes in urban India 11.2 per cent is twice that of rural India 5.2 per cent. However, the rates of diabetes in rural areas were much higher than those identified in previous studies. “Even in rural areas, the lifestyle is gradually changing,” added Dr Shaikh.

Growing concerns among the doctors was obesity that eventually resulted in diabetes, “what we need to understand is that the consumption of outside food is increasing everywhere.  The food we eat is highly processed. Diabestity (Diabetes and obesity) is the new problem. Among children especially, this is a concern,” said Dr Aarti Ullal, practising diabetologist at Global Hospital, Mumbai. She also added that stress could be a reason for diabetes.

Among other points, the study pointed out that “the rate of pre-diabetes exceeded the rate of diabetes, a forewarning on the impeding pressure on the healthcare facility and infrastructure. Pre-diabetes, which was also widely studied by the study, seemed like an issue. Doctors said that most of the people don’t consider pre-diabetes as a problem, “The issue is, we don’t consider pre-diabetes as an issue. In fact, pre-diabetes can help you get cured if detected. That is the first marker that the body gives you,” said Dr Shaikh.