In India, according to WHO, there are more than 62 million people that are diagnosed with diabetics. And looking at the statistics taken in 2000, when India with the 31.7 million diabetic people stood as World No 1, second only to China, at 42.3 million; it looks like the malady is spreading in endemic proportions. According to an estimate, Diabetes Mellitus will afflict upto 79.4 million people by 2030, in India alone, while across the world it is estimated to reach from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. In India, preliminary results of a large community study done by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) reveal that Northern India had lower percentage of population affected when compared to Southern states.
Hyderabad in specific has 16.6 percent of affected population – in all probability, the highest incidence. The rising incidence of diabetes can be attributed to genetic factors in addition to environmental influences, lifestyle changes. In urban areas – migration, obesity resulting from rising living standards are attributed to the spread of the disease, further manifesting itself to cardiovascular complications, renal issues, retinopathy and foot ulcers.
And at this rate, (according to age groups, gender and area future trend analysis) 60% of the world’s population with heart disease will live in India by 2020 and a majority of this figure is thanks to the rising number of diabetics. The more alarming fact is that the urban males between the age group of 20 and 29 are increasingly getting affected, where as earlier it was 40 and above.
India is a country of contrasts. While there are a few regions where malnutrition is still in prevalence and various NGOs and government organizations continue to grapple with it, there is the urban India, which is suffering the excess. Better standard of life is giving way to sedentary lifestyle, starchy and sugary diets, and the absolute lack of health and fitness is increasing the number of diabetics. But now, even rural India is giving into this threatening endemic. The food habits are undergoing a massive change even in rural India; with increased exposure, job opportunities and easy availability of junk food.
Hyderabad is on the top of the list, because of all the above accentuated by stressful lifestyle. It may be a daily chore of travelling long distances battling the huge traffic jams, the increasing cost of living and the related struggle for survival or just the strain on excelling in career or education – even as the city of Nizams is growing at its seems and has easily embraced the status of a hi-tech city – it is equally becoming the haven of lifestyle diseases, and diabetes is one such disease that is getting out of control.
It is indeed the lack of physical activity, increased consumption of polished white rice (especially in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in South India, where the staple food is largely considered responsible for diabetes), increased availability of fast food and sugar-laden drinks that is responsible for growing number of diabetics. And with enough care, and awareness, it isn’t so difficult to bring diabetes under the reins