INCIDENCE OF diabetes is gradually assuming epidemic proportions and - more alarmingly - while the number of patients is rapidly increasing, the average age of those afflicted with the disease is plummeting each passing year. In the modern world diabetes has emerged as a heart disease and nearly 70 per cent of diabetics die from heart attack.
As the world observes `World Diabetes Day’ on November 14, the prevalence of the disease – now assuming almost endemic magnitude – is increasing drastically in India and also in Bhopal.
Almost 50,000-60,000 people are currently diagnosed as diabetes patients in Bhopal and the trend indicate a continuous rise in that number. The rate of occurrence is particularly high in urban areas while rural folk are comparatively still living more healthily and have not been caught by diabetes.
“Cardiodiabetology has become the latest line of treatment of diabetes, as more and more diabetics suffer from heart ailments too,’’ says City-based renowned heart specialist Dr P C Manoria. He added detection (of diabetes) at the right time went a long way in managing the disease effectively.
“Merely controlling blood sugar levels does not help the patients. That has to be augmented with regular treatment for cardiac conditions too,’’ Dr Manoria emphasised.
“Lifestyle is a decisive factor – after hereditary reasons – for a person becoming a diabetes patient or not,’’ feels Dr S Jindal, diabetes expert and Associate Professor at People’s Hospital, Bhopal. He says the incidence of diabetes in urban Bhopal is almost six to eight per cent while one in every six adults living in the high-income and middle-income groups is prone to being afflicted with the disease.
Dr Jindal added the more disturbing trend was actually not of the increase in number of diabetes patients but of the average age coming down.
“While the grandfather got diabetes at the age of 60, the father got it at 40 and now the son is prone to becoming a diabetes patient at the age of even as low as 20,’’ Dr Jindal lamented. He said Type-2 diabetes - which is strongly hereditary - constitutes almost 90-95 per cent of patients while diseases’ of a more rare variety - Type-1 - was seen mostly in children between the age groups of 5-15 years old.