Chennai: Diabetes is a major health problem in India and the prevalence has only been escalating in the past few decades, say doctors.
While India is home to the second largest number of adults living with diabetes (69.2 million), recent reports suggest that at least 40 per cent of Chennai office-goers are diabetics.
On World Diabetes Day (November 14), doctors across the city with whom
Deccan Chronicle interacted said the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing manifold with high risk factors.
One of the most important tests for diabetics is HbA1C test. The HbA1C test gives an indication of the average blood glucose levels for over a three month period. The higher the HbA1C test value, the greater risk for diabetics for chronic illnesses.
Dr Kirti Chadha, head of laboratory services, Metropolis Global Reference Laboratory, said, “It is important to increase awareness about HbA1c test among diabetics. Inadequate blood glucose control reflected in elevated HbA1c levels increases the risk of late diabetes complications such as diabetic eye and kidney disease.”
Diabetes associated with depression
Also, diabetes is found to have an association with depression. Dr Vivian Kapil, senior psychiatrist, Meenakshi Medical College hospital, in his recent research found that depression is widely prevalent among individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“Prevalence of depression in individuals with type-2 diabetes was 30 per cent in my research. People with depression and type-2 diabetes mellitus had higher glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c levels) when compared to individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus without depression,” he said.
He further added that physicians should be sensitized about this and they should be on constant vigil for depressive symptoms, which might not manifest overtly..
Diabetic Retinopathy - The silent killer!
Dr Atul Dhawan, retina surgeon, Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital said, almost two-thirds of all type 2 and almost all of type 1 diabetics are expected to develop Diabetic Retinopathy over a period of time. A recent study has estimated the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy at 21.7 per cent in India. Doctors say early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can prevent blindness and it is recommended to have regular check-ups. Modifiable risk factors related to diabetic retinopathy include high blood pressure, high body mass index, high blood lipid level, anaemia, renal impairment, smoking.