One-third of people tested for HbA1c found to have diabetes: Tata 1mg labs

Most people being diagnosed with diabetes fall in 40-60 age group. More men found to suffer from diabetes than women

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New DelhiOn the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Tata 1mg, India’s leading digital healthcare platform, shared that one-third of the people who tested for HbA1c at Tata 1mg Labs, were found to have diabetes, with the highest incidence reported among the 40-60 years age group.
The proportion of diabetes patients was found to be higher in men as compared to women. This report has been prepared on the basis of a retrospective data analysis conducted on people who wanted to get themselves checked specifically for diabetes, or those who took a preventive health screening package.
The screening was done through HbA1c test (or glycosylated hemoglobin test) which tells about the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. A value of HbA1c level ≥ 6.5% is considered to be indicative of diabetes.
A total of 536,164 blood samples were tested for diabetes at Tata 1mg labs across the country between March-October 2022. Out of these samples, 180,891 (about 33%) were diagnosed as positive for the disease. The incidence was highest in 40-60 years age group (44%), followed by 60+ years (42%) and 25-40 years (12.5%).
More men (58%) were found to suffer from diabetes than women (42%).
Said Dr Prashant Nag, Clinical Head, Tata 1mg Labs: “Diabetes is a leading threat to public health globally, and the view is gloomier for countries like India, where the diabetes burden has risen significantly in recent decades and will continue to rise in the coming decades. As the prevalence of diabetes rises, more young adults and adolescents tend to develop diabetes, particularly if they are overweight/obese. Not just this, more people are now falling prey to borderline diabetes. It is a condition wherein blood sugar levels are slightly above the normal range, but not high enough to be called diabetes. A report published in 2018 estimated 1 in every 6 Indians to have borderline diabetes.”
He added: “All adults in India without risk factors should be screened with a test for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes starting at age 35, instead of age 45. However, many experts have recommended that screening for diabetes should now be initiated at 25 years of age, looking at the recent increase in diabetes cases in young adults in the country.”
In addition to the genetic predisposition, the main culprits for causing surge in diabetes cases in India are unhealthy lifestyle factors like lack of physical activity, excessive fast-food consumption, smoking, and alcohol consumption. However, certain studies have shown that COVID-19 is also capable of causing direct damage to the pancreas that could worsen sugar levels in known diabetics, and even induce the onset of diabetes in previously non-diabetics, the expert said.
Said Ms. Chhavi Kohli, Chief diabetes educator & Nutritionist with Medanta the Medicity, Gurgaon (also on the advisory panel of Tata 1mg): ‘’There is no special diet for Diabetes; the whole idea is to nourish the body by taking various nutrients in the right proportion and right time. The focus should be on eating lots of seasonal colorful vegetables, consuming healthy fats and adequate protein sources. For carbs, choose a variety of whole grains. Do not miss fruits, use them as snacks and avoid packaged and processed food items. Also, a lot of myths prevail around the right diet for Diabetes. Do not fall prey to misinformation. Always consult certified nutritionists and diabetes educators for your diabetes.’’
Diabetes imposes lifelong demands on people living with the disease and their families, and people with diabetes do better when they take active control of their own care. Diabetes can be tackled with a balanced and healthy diet, an active lifestyle, timely intake of prescribed medications, regular health checkups, and planned doctor visits.