A pan-India study has suggested that more than half of newly diagnosed diabetes patients in the country have additional risk factors that place them under “very high risk” for major atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
The study, India’s largest to probe what proportion of newly diagnosed diabetes patients also carry other risk factors, has found 60.5 per cent of a sample of 5,080 patients at very high risk and 39.5 per cent at “high risk” of cardiovascular disease. The study underlined the need for early diagnosis and risk reduction.
As per the experts, diabetes itself adds to the risk of coronary artery disease and ischaemic stroke, independently of the other risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
In the new study, the doctors screened 5,080 people diagnosed with diabetes between 2017 and 2020 at 928 medical centres in 121 cities across India and found that 4,192 (82.5 per cent) of them had at least one abnormal cholesterol reading.
The most prevalent abnormal cholesterol level was low high-density lipoprotein, or low “good” cholesterol, in 55 per cent of the patients, followed by high triglycerides (51 per cent), high total cholesterol (27 per cent) and high low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol (26 per cent).
In 2018, a survey conducted by GMC Srinagar showed that one out of every ten residents of Srinagar aged over 20 years has insulin dependent diabetes.
Diabetics are known to have a weaker immune system and, thus, higher susceptibility to infections.
Experts stress that eating foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content can lead to increased blood sugar levels which may eventually cause diabetes over time. Instead of refined carbohydrates, it is better to choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oatmeal and vegetables.
It is important to stay physically active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. One should try to engage in physical activities like walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, etc. for at least 30 minutes every day. However, one should refrain from outdoor activities if there’s too much smog or pollution outside.
Persistent uncontrolled high blood sugar levels in diabetes patients can cause damage to other organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes, or blood vessels. The pan-India study’s results call for appropriate screening of newly diagnosed patients and intensive clinical management of other risk factors. The people also need to be guarded and should take all preventive measures.