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World Diabetes Day: Why should You Worry?

Commonly regarded as a first world disease, it may surprise you that India is the Diabetes capital of the world.

Diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease. It is unfortunate that people still don’t realize the enormous potential health risk that the disease poses. Such is the alarming risk that prevention is always better than cure for this disease. Here’s why you should worry and opt for the best preventive lifestyle.

- Diabetes is an ‘iceberg disease’. The disease in general population can be compared with an iceberg. The floating tip of the iceberg represents the diagnosed cases. The vast submerged portion of the iceberg is the hidden mass of undiagnosed cases. One in two persons with Diabetes is undiagnosed. These undiagnosed reservoir cases come into light only after progression into a complicated form, the control of which can be challenging.

- Diabetes management can be an expensive affair. The economic burden of diabetic care due to blood sugar control and the amount spent on consultations, laboratory tests, medicines, procedures and diet modification consumes a major portion of household budget. The average monthly expense of a diabetic comes to be anywhere between Rs. 3500 to Rs. 7000. This is 15% of family income for an average income Indian family.

- The most disturbing trend is the shift in age of onset of Diabetes to a younger age in the recent years.The peculiar Indian genetics and Asian phenotype predisposes us to diabetes an average 10 years earlier than our western counterparts.

- The WHO also estimates that 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle-income countries and projects that such deaths will double between 2016 and 2030.The prevalence of diabetes is so increasing that low and middle income countries like India will be hit worst. A recent study by the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of diabetes death occurs in these countries and forecasts that these numbers will double between 2016 and 2030.

· * The invasion of processed western food is spreading as a lifestyle change in the community. This has led to increase in childhood and adult obesity, which is the major risk factor for diabetes. India is slated to have 20 million obese women and 9.8 million obese men

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