Health Ministry study finds over a fifth of India’s population suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure

The one-of-its-kind survey on diabetes and high blood pressure found that prevelance of diabetes in men was 11.7% and 8.6% in women. While India has 20.3% diabetes cases, Maharashtra has 26% cases

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  • Over a fifth of India’s population is suffering from diabetes and hypertension
  • In this one-of-its-kind survey, 6 lakh households were covered, of which 7 lakh were women and 1.3 lakh were men
  • In India, diabetes cases are at 20.3%
  • In Maharashtra, diabetes cases are at 26%
  • Prevalence of diabetes in men was 11.7% and in women, 8.6%
  • The latest diabetes data, which is part of National Family Health Survey-4, was released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Diabetes common among productive population

Doctors say the present cause of concern is that the productive population is getting diabetes and related complications. They say healthy lifestyle and pre-diagnosis is the key to control growing menace of diabetes.

“We are seeing a peak in Type II in the age group of 12-25. Being a lifestyle disease, poor dietary habits combined with sedentary lifestyle is the main reason attached to it,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, Endocrinologist at Lilavati Hospital who conducted the study from Mumbai.

Doctors say there needs to be more government programs on diabetes to spread awareness as many are found to be ignorant of their diabetes status.

“It is found that a diabetic person in India goes without a diagnosis for years till the time the person gets complications related to it,” added Joshi.

Amputation of foot common complication

Amputation of foot is a common complication because of uncontrolled diabetes, say doctors.

Dr Tushar Rege, Consultant Diabetic Foot Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said, “I have got many patients who had uncontrolled diabetes for not following proper treatment and regime and got diabetic foot neuropathy. In some cases we had to amputate legs too. Sadly, many of them are in productive age group.”

Is diabetes preventable?

According to doctors, 85% of diabetic people who lost their leg were preventable.

“Patients need to be educated and aware of the disease and should take proper and preventive measures such as maintaining skin’s moisture treat the wound properly before it catches infection,” said Rege.

‘Painful to see youngsters suffer from diabetes

Diabetes is also one of the most common causes of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 30-40 per cent of new cases.

“The progression of the kidney problem in a type II diabetes patient is faster in comparison to type I diabetes and more difficult to treat. At least 50% of patients requiring dialysis or transplant are diabetics. One needs to maintain a healthy blood sugar level to avoid diabetes complications like kidney failure. It is painful to see young people with diabetes and kidney problems,” Dr Jatin Kothari, Consulting Nephrologist, PD Hinduja Hospital.

Diabetes complications include

Brain – Stroke

Eyes – Diabetic Retinopathy (Loss of vision)

Heart – Myocardial infarction

Kidney – Diabetic nephropathy (Irreversible damage)

Nerves – Diabetic neuropathy (Loss of sensation)

Feet – Infection / gangrene (amputation)