New Delhi: Diabetes, a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood, has been termed a 'silent killer' by doctors and medical professionals across the world.
Because the cells in your body can't turn the blood sugar into energy, the sugar builds up and can damage many parts of your body, such as your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. In the long term, diabetes can cause stroke, heart attack, or coma.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2014, 8.5% of adults aged 18 years and older had diabetes. In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths and high blood glucose was the cause of another 2.2 million deaths.
If we just talk about India's condition where diabetes is concerned, the government on Tuesday revealed that as many as 3.46 lakh people died of diabetes in 2015, up from 2.24 lakh in 2005, with the deadly disease climbing to the seventh position on the list of causes of deaths in the country.
The increase in numbers from 2005 to 2015 has lead to the shift from 11th position to seventh position in terms of cause of death due to diabetes, Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The prevalence of diabetes in the country was nearly 70 million in 2015, he said.
"Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has informed that according to the Global Burden of Disease Report 2015, the number of deaths due to diabetes increased from 2.24 lakh (in the year 2005) to 3.46 lakhs (in the year 2015), thus leading to the shift from 11th position to 7th position in terms of cause of death due to diabetes," Kulaste said.
The minister said that government is implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) for interventions up to district level under the National Health Mission.
It has focused on awareness generation for behaviour and life-style changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral to higher facilities for appropriate management for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) including Diabetes, he said.
Replying to another question, Kulaste said, "Diabetes is one of the common NCDs. ICMR has informed that according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition, the prevalence of diabetes in India is 69.2 million in 2015.
"ICMR has undertaken a study on diabetes - ICMR India Diabetes (ICMR-INDAB) Study on the prevalence of diabetes. It is an ongoing study and current results available from 15 states and UTs indicate overall prevalence of diabetes which varies from 4 per cent to 13 per cent," he said.
The minister said that operational guidelines for implementing population level screening for diabetes, hypertension and common cancer - oral, breast and cervix - have been released to state governments.
These guidelines include screening for risk factors of these diseases and such screening will generate awareness on risk factors of these diseases, he said.
In order to leverage mobile technology, an application called 'mDiabetes' has been launched to generate awareness, promote adherence to treatment and inculcate healthy habits among the masses, Kulaste added.
(With PTI inputs)