A staggering 74 million Indians were diagnosed with diabetes two years ago, and this number is expected to rise to over 124 million by 2045. These benumbing figures released by Statista are confirmation — if at all one was needed — of the vice-like grip diabetes has had on the country. Gujarat is not insulated from, what is called, the silent killer.
Now, a recent study, published in The Lancet’s Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that 8.1% of those surveyed in the state were identified as diabetic, while 10.5% were prediabetic.
The study was part of the recently published ICMR-INDIAB-17 by Ranjit Mohan Anjana and others, a national daily reported.
According to the findings in Gujarat, the prevalence of hypertension was 28.5%, general obesity 23.5% and abdominal obesity 30.6%. However, these were found to be lower than the national average, the report mentioned.
Dr Ramesh Goyal, a city-based endocrinologist and diabetologist, clarified that the numbers were on the lower side owing to the methodology. “Compared to several studies based in Gujarat, some other states were not included earlier. Over the years, there has been an increase in awareness and we see many prediabetic patients who control their blood sugar through regular medication,” he was quoted as saying.
Even city-based experts agreed that medical practice indicated a much higher prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) than what the numbers suggest. They too believed the difference was on account of the methodology employed.
Dr Shashikant Nigam, an internal medicine specialist, told the daily, “In our practice, we see three of every 10 persons coming with blood sugar that is borderline or high – higher than what the study showed. In the older population, it is even higher. Likewise, the prevalence of hypertension and obesity has also increased if we compare data from pre-Covid times.”