It is time Delhiites sit up and take note of their health. After all, 22 per cent of men in the city have been found with poorly controlled diabetes.
Women are not far behind either; almost 18.4 per cent are diabetic.
Of the total 145,165 samples tested for HbA1c over the last five years in Delhi by Metropolis Healthcare, the incidence of poorly controlled diabetes was the highest in the age group of 50-60 (about 29 per cent), followed by 60-70 (about 25 per cent) and 40-50 (23.5 per cent).
The incidence was the lowest in the youngest age group of 20-30 years (six per cent). However, it increased steadily to peak in the age group of 50-60 years, and thereafter showed a steady decline in the older age groups.
Dr Puneet Nigam, Chief Quality Officer, Metropolis, Healthcare Ltd., points out how diabetes is a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7 per cent diabetic population in the age group of 20 to 70 years.
“The rising prevalence of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases is driven by a combination of factors like rapid urbanisation, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and increasing life expectancy. Lifestyle interventions with regular monitoring are a must for overcoming diabetes,” he opines.
The figures for Metro and Tier-II cities emerge differently. A survey conducted by healthcare brand Portea Medical of patients in Portea’s InControl programme shows men are more proactive in choosing a diabetes care plan as compared to women.
In an analysis of over 12,000 diabetics, the survey found that men outnumbered women exponentially in selecting a diabetes care plan.
When it came to prioritising their health, around 70 per cent of the women – including the tech-savvy ones – were unable to manage their diet due to busy schedules.
The trends – a result of Portea’s experience with customers over the last six months – also found that the maximum engagement from women for Portea’s programme came from Karnataka (16 per cent) followed by Kerala (13 per cent).
Women, it seems, join the programme at a relatively more advanced stage compared to men. The findings showed around 47 per cent of diabetic women had diabetes for more than five years as compared to 35 per cent men.
However, the good news is that around 30 per cent of diabetic women seriously followed medical recommendations and were keen to gather maximum possible information on how to manage it.
The study also indicated some challenges faced by the surveyed group due to the lack of access to diabetes management programmes such as poor connectivity, rescheduling of counselling calls, and lack of knowledge on how to use devices to monitor their condition.
Many patients in the study felt that managing diabetes has more to do with diet and exercise and less to do with medical supervision. About 74 per cent patients used the glucometer for the first time after joining the programme.
“We saw interesting trends emerge from patient behaviour. Of the people who are joining the programme, most have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and are seeking solution to manage their conditions without impacting their lives and livelihood.
Even though the percentage of women is less than men, women on the programme are far more compliant than their male counterparts,” shares Meena Ganesh, Managing Director and CEO, Portea Medical.
“As compared to men, women are found to have poorly controlled diabetes due to multiple reasons. The main thing is the lack of awareness and limited time for themselves. Most women have a sedentary lifestyle and are rarely involved in any sort of physical activity or exercise,” says Dr Abhilasha Jain, Consultant, Endocrinology, Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi.
So what’s the remedy? “They require to take out at least 30-45 minutes a day for themselves and take brisk walks daily along with some workout to minimise the impact of diabetes on their overall health. Menopause is another leading cause of less controlled diabetes among women after a certain age,” advises Dr Jain.