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60% type 2 diabetes reversible: ICMR chief

Over 101 million diabetic in India, says study

60% type 2 diabetes reversible: ICMR chief

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 9

India houses nearly double the number of diabetics than previously estimated, according to the new findings of a 12-year study on the prevalence of metabolic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, in the country.

The Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study, which assessed a representative sample of individuals aged 20 years and older drawn from urban and rural areas of 31 states and UTs, found prevalence of diabetes among 11.4 per cent population, which comes to 101 million.

TYPES OF DIABETES

Type 1: Caused by an autoimmune reaction when the body attacks itself by mistake. This reaction stops the body from making insulin.

Type 2: Body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2.

Gestational diabetes: Develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes.

This is 1.68 times higher than the previously estimated 60 million diabetics in India and a previously known 7.84 per cent national prevalence rate of diabetes.

The new study published in The Lancet puts the prevalence of pre-diabetes at 15.3 per cent in India, which is 136 million; hypertension at 35.5 per cent; general obesity at 39.5 per cent and dyslipidemia (lipid imbalance which can cause heart diseases) at 81.2 per cent. One in every three Indians has hypertension and two in five are obese.

Pre-diabetes is completely reversible, and 60% diabetes (type 2) is reversible by healthy diet and physical activity. —Rajiv Bahl, ICMR chief

Speaking to The Tribune today, ICMR chief Rajiv Bahl said, “The message to the people is that jumping into treatment and more treatment for diabetes will not help.

Pre-diabetes is completely reversible, and 60% diabetes is reversible by healthy diet and physical activity. We must all work towards reducing the risk of diabetes through healthy diet and physical activity. If it is uncontrolled then go in for treatment.” The reversal Bahl mentioned is in respect of the most common form of diabetes — type 2 (95% people with diabetes have this type) which occurs when blood glucose is too high. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose get into body cells to be used for energy.

In type 2 diabetes, body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Too much glucose then stays in the blood, and not enough reaches the cells.

Bahl said the purpose of the study was to find out what is the prevalence and burden of diabetes in the context of changes in society with increased prosperity, more access to food, and convenient modes of transport. The highest prevalence of diabetes in India is in Goa, pre-diabetes in Sikkim and hypertension in Punjab.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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