‘Alarming increase in prediabetics among younger age groups’

Thursday, 7 April 2022 (17:24 IST)
Chennai: Medall Healthcare, India's fastest-growing integrated diagnostics services provider has seen an alarming increase in the percentage of prediabetics among younger age groups. 

Medall's data analysis on the results of tests from 2017 at centres across South India, showed an increasing trend in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

Medall's data mining on the results of almost 9 lakh HbA1c tests undertaken and almost 2 lakh BMI values show an increasing trend in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, such as Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension and Dyslipidaemia, is on the rise and is expected to increase considerably in India.

These findings are from Medall's database oflab values for over a period of six years across South India. The primary factor for the increase in obesity is lack of physical activity and unhealthy food habits. Obesity causes increased levels of fatty acids and inflammation, leading to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes, a Medall release here said.

The HbA1c test measures how much glucose is bound to red blood cells. This test shows the average level of glucose in the blood for the past 3-4 months. BMI is the standard indicator of body fat for most people. It is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Dr. Akila Ravikumar, Wellness Consultant, Medall said, “Although diabetes figures are high, it's a fact that at least 60% of cases remain undiagnosed. This is particularly concerning, as the risk of serious complications increases when people do not take steps to do the periodic health checks, which can help them identify problems early. In India, abdominal obesity is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVDs) and diabetes".

Various studies have shown that the prevalence of obesity among women were significantly higher as compared to men. Obesity is one of the main medical and financial burdens for the government. There is also strong evidence that Indians have a greater degree of insulin resistance that can convert as Diabetes if not identified and corrected early, Dr Akila said.

It is a common misconception that these chronic conditions are identified mostly in older people. Year-on-year statistics show an increasing trend of prediabetes in younger age groups.

Among the age group of 20-39, 21% were prediabetic in 2017 which has now increased to 32% in 2022. It is important to note that prediabetes can be reversed if diagnosed at an early stage.

The analysis also clearly shows a steady increase in percentage of diabetes prevalence in patients aged 40-69. (UNI)

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