scorecardOne in every six Indians have borderline diabetes says report
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One in every six Indians have borderline diabetes says report

One in every six Indians have borderline diabetes says report
LifeScience3 min read
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  • Incidence of diabetes was higher in men as compared to women, the report says.
  • The major reason behind a massive surge in diabeties patients is an unhealthy lifestyle, which includes lack of physical activity, excessive fast food consumption etc.
  • Studies suggest that Covid-19 is capable of causing direct damage to the pancreas that could deteriorate sugar levels in known diabetics.
India has earned the dubious distinction of being the world’s diabetes capital. It ranks second in terms of most diabetics in the world, coming second only to China .

While this disease is widely prevalent, its incidence is highest among people aged between 40-60 years, according to a report by Tata 1mg labs.

Around 42% aged above 60 years were found to have diabetes out of the total number of samples who tested positive. The incidence slipped to 12.5% for 25-40 year olds.

“Diabetes is a leading threat to public health globally, and the view is gloomier for countries like India, where the diabetes burden has risen significantly in recent decades and will continue to rise in the coming decades,” said Dr Prashant Nag, clinical head, Tata 1mg Labs.

A total of 536,164 blood samples were tested for diabetes at Tata 1mg labs across the country between March-October 2022. Out of these samples, about 33% were diagnosed as positive for the disease.

“As the prevalence of diabetes rises, more young adults and adolescents tend to develop diabetes, particularly if they are overweight/obese,” said Dr Nag.

Men are more diabetic than women


The incidence of diabetes is found to be higher in men as compared to women, the report says. Out of the samples tested, 58% were men, while 42% were women.

The screening was done through the HbA1c test (or glycosylated hemoglobin test) which tells about the average level of blood sugar over the past two to three months. A value of HbA1c level ≥ 6.5% is considered to be indicative of diabetes.

“Not just this, more people are now falling prey to borderline diabetes. It is a condition wherein blood sugar levels are slightly above the normal range, but not high enough to be called diabetes. A report published in 2018 estimated one in every six Indians to have borderline diabetes,” Dr Nag added.

The major reason behind a massive surge in diabeties patients is an unhealthy lifestyle, which includes lack of physical activity, excessive fast-food consumption, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

‘’There is no special diet for diabetes; the whole idea is to nourish the body by taking various nutrients in the right proportion and right time. The focus should be on eating lots of seasonal colourful vegetables, consuming healthy fats and adequate protein sources. For carbs, choose a variety of whole grains,” said Chhavi Kohli, chief diabetes educator and nutritionist at Medanta the Medicity, Gurgaon.

She further added, “Do not miss fruits, use them as snacks and avoid packaged and processed food items. Also, a lot of myths prevail around the right diet for diabetes. Do not fall prey to misinformation. Always consult certified nutritionists and diabetes educators for your diabetes.”

New studies also suggest that Covid-19 is also capable of causing direct damage to the pancreas that could deteriorate sugar levels in known diabetics. It can even induce the onset of diabetes in non-diabetics, Dr Nag explained.

Diabetes is a curable disease and can be tackled only with a balanced and healthy diet, an active lifestyle, timely intake of prescribed medications, regular health checkups, and planned doctor visits.

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