Over 60% Indian women in their 20s could develop diabetes in their lifetime
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 12, 2023
Did you know that the way we live our lives can have a significant impact on our future health? It’s true. If we lead a healthy lifestyle from the beginning, we can minimize our risk of various health problems. However, a recent study conducted in India reveals a concerning statistic – more than 60% of women currently in their 20s in India could develop diabetes in their lifetime.
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Diabetes: A Growing Concern in India
The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, shows that not only women but also more than half of the men currently in their 20s in India could develop diabetes at some point in their lives. The majority of these cases are likely to be type 2 diabetes, which is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
According to the researchers, India already faces a significant burden of diabetes, with over 77 million adults currently affected by the condition. Shockingly, this number is expected to nearly double by 2045, reaching 134 million individuals. The rapid growth of urban centers in India is contributing to this alarming trend, with factors such as poor diet quality and decreased physical activity playing a significant role.
Higher Risk for Women Across the Lifespan
The study also reveals that women generally have a higher lifetime risk of developing diabetes compared to men. For individuals currently aged 60 and free of diabetes, around 38% of women and 28% of men are likely to develop the condition. Obesity plays a crucial role in these projections, as metropolitan Indians with a higher body mass index (BMI) have the highest lifetime risk of diabetes. In fact, the risk reaches 86% for obese 20-year-old women and 87% for men.
On a positive note, the study emphasizes that individuals with a normal or underweight BMI have a significantly higher diabetes-free life expectancy. These results highlight the importance of lifestyle interventions, such as adopting a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight, particularly for those at higher risk.
Targeting Diabetes Proactively
Considering the alarming probability of developing diabetes in India’s metropolitan cities, the study’s authors emphasize the urgent need for interventions to prevent the condition. They stress the necessity of proactive efforts to tackle the increasing prevalence of “urban obesogenic environments” across the country.
It is important to note that Indians have a relatively higher predisposition to developing diabetes at lower ages and BMIs compared to white European populations. Recognizing this fact, the researchers call for immediate action and investment in policies with clear targets and commitments to be met by 2030. They propose an aspirational target similar to the “90-90-90” goals set for HIV, which has since been replaced by even more ambitious targets.
The key takeaway from this study is that diabetes prevention is within our control. By making effective lifestyle modifications, such as adopting a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight, we can significantly reduce our risk of developing diabetes. Let’s prioritize our health and make choices that lead to a brighter, healthier future.
(With inputs from PTI)