Diabetes reaches epidemic proportions in India

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Aligarh: Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the country and is increasing with "tsunamic" speed, a top expert of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) said here Saturday.

"More than 75 percent of heart attack patients are either diabetic or undiagnosed. A vast majority of patients undergoing renal dialysis and transplants have diabetes as the underlying cause," said Prof. Jamal Ahmad, director, Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology, J.N. Medical College, AMU.

He said the country had 50 million diabetes patients, and more than 95 percent of the population suffers from some form of the disease.

"Early diagnoses and optimal management can significantly decrease the mortality associated with this dreaded disease," he said.

Listing out the various preventive steps, Prof. Ahmad said brisk walking for half-an-hour every day can significantly reduce its risk.

He also advocated giving up smoking and alcohol, reducing salt and trans-fat intake (present in junk food) and switching to a vegetarian diet.

World Diabetes Day was introduced in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation. It is held on the birth anniversary of Frederick Banting, who along with Charles Best, is credited with discovering insulin, a hormone which regulates carbohydrates and fat.

IANS