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Over 4 in 5 Indians get diabetes diagnosis after facing complications: Study

IANS | November 14, 2023 11:49 AM

NEW DELHI: More than four in five people living with diabetes (87 per cent) in India find they are diabetic after developing complications associated with the condition, according to a global research carried out by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) on World Diabetes Day.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

It is marked every year on November 14 to raise awareness about the condition. This year's theme is 'Know your risk' and 'know your response'.

The global research, which included 700 adults living with diabetes in India, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, China and Nigeria, showed that 97 per cent Indians surveyed experienced one or more diabetes complications during the course of their life with diabetes.

Diabetes-related complications can be serious and, in some cases, life-threatening. They include damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet.

The most common complications experienced among survey respondents in India were eye problems (64 per cent), depression (52 per cent), and oral health (42 per cent) problems.

More than half (59 per cent) of respondents said they worry most days about developing diabetes-related complications.

"Nearly every person living with diabetes in India has experienced at least one complication, which highlights a lack of knowledge around how to manage the condition, " said Dr Banshi Saboo, Diabetologist and Chairman of Diabetes Care and Hormone Clinic in Ahmedabad, in a statement on Monday.

"More needs to be done to improve diabetes awareness and provide education to support the early detection and management of complications. What we have learned offers a stark reminder that diabetes often goes undetected until one or more complications are present, " Dr Saboo added.

Globally, 7 in ten people living with diabetes (72 per cent) only found out they had diabetes after developing complications associated with the condition.

The most common complications globally experienced were eye (46 per cent), foot (38 per cent), and oral health (37 per cent) problems.

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for over 90 per cent of all diabetes, often develops silently, with symptoms that go unnoticed. As a result, many people with the condition, more than 50 per cent in some countries, are not diagnosed and, as the research suggests, complications are already present.

The risk of complications can be significantly reduced through early detection, timely treatment and informed self-care, the researchers said.

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