80% of diabetic Indians at high risk of heart disease
The US FDA-approved RISC (Report on Insulin Sensitivity and Control) test conducted on 8,269 patients also showed that 63% of them were at a high risk of developing complications such as retinopathy in their micro blood vessels. Retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness, is caused by damage to blood vessels of the eye’s retina.
The company conducted a survey among 5,065 Indians, including 1,386 Mumbaikars, in 16 cities. The data was then correlated with RISC test results of 10,074 patients. “Our RISC study showed that while 60% of people with diabetes suffer from autonomic nervous system dysfunction, but 69% of those surveyed were clueless that diabetes can affect their sexual life,” said Ashok Jain of the Lifespan chain of clinics. RISC stands for ‘Report on Insulin Sensitivity and Control Test’, a non-invasive test that takes around seven minutes to measures 30 vital health parameters. There are 26 Lifespan clinics offering the RISC test.
Jain added that several patients who walked into his clinics across the country confessed that they only had karela or methi to treat their diabetes. “It would have helped them to take karela or methi with medication, but these people hadn’t considered medication at all,” Jain added.The survey found that 54% of the patients were not aware that diabetes is a disease of the pancreas. “Around 60% refused to accept a familial link to diabetes and one in three think it is a disease of the old,” said the survey. In truth, 16% of the patients are aged under 40.
One in every four patients believed that diabetes skips a generation and an equal number said diabetes is not a serious condition.
Doctors concurred that the shocking lack of awareness about diabetes and its complications are responsible for poor adherence to treatment in several pockets of the country. “Lack of awareness regarding a direct link between diabetes and heart disease precludes the institution of preventive steps. These include not only a more intensive diet and exercise but also early institution of statins and aspirin therapy. These are extremely important in Indians in whom both diabetes and heart disease are in an epidemic form,” said Delhi-based endocrinologist Dr Anoop Misra.