Increase in diabetic patients alarming: Azad

New Delhi: Initial screening of people in the slums of Bangalore and Chennai as part of a government survey has produced "alarming results" with incidence of non-communicable diseases on the rise among residents, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said.

Expressing concern over the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes, in the country, Azad also doubted the data collected so far in this regard by world agencies like WHO and UN, saying "It seemed unrealistic".

"I don`t think it is realistic as no massive exercise has ever been undertaken in this regard to know the real number of people infected. There is no way of finding it".

The minister also lamented that states were not doing enough in health care facilities, saying they have "failed in their duties to provide health services", even though health was a state subject.

Delivering the inaugural address at the India Diabetes Summit here, Azad said the initial results of screening of people in Bangalore and Chennai had given "alarming results, reinforcing our cause for worry".

The minister said while in Bangalore 14 per cent were found diabetic, 21 per cent had high blood pressure and 13 per cent were suffering both from diabetes and hypertension. "Most persons affected did not have any symptoms nor did they know that they have diabetes or hypertension".

In Chennai, he said, the results of the three lakh persons tested show that nearly 50,000 were found diabetic, 60,000 were hypertensive and 40,000 were suffering from both diabetes and hypertension. About 3 per cent of pregnant women were also found to be diabetic. It was also noted that kidney failure is an alarming complication accompanying diabetes and hypertension, the survey reports.


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