By Health In Five Writer
About 38 percent of respondents who believe they are healthy have been found suffering from diabetes, reveals the study. While another 28 percent healthy individual have been diagnosed with pre-diabeticsbased on their HbA1c levels. Hence, two third are either having CVD risk or risk prone.
In addition, 50 percent respondents are unaware that diabetes and Obesity are the most closely associated risk factors with heart diseases. A whopping 88% do not know that high cholesterol may lead to heart disease. Surprisingly, Mumbai even being a top metro city ranks lowest (14%) in terms of awareness towards the association between diabetes and heart diseases. On the contrary, Hyderabad (45%) followed by Vijaywada (43%) appears to be most aware.
These findings were revealed through a study named, Making India Heartstrong Survey, which is a two-part study comprising questionnaire-based interviews and HbA1c (Average Glucose level) and Lipid profile Tests, conducted to understand perception of people towards heart health versus actual numbers of people at heart risk. The responses from 600 individuals from 6 cities across 4 states (Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) were recorded to evaluate Indians’ awareness levels around CVD risk assessment and relationship between their work/lifestyle, habits.
“Prevalence of hardening of arteries is on the rise, particularly in younger population owing to the changes in their lifestyle and food habits. Research studies show that coronary stenosis, which is associated with hardening of arteries, affects nearly 30% population. So, it is time we pay attention towards our lifestyle to prevent our risk of developing such diseases,” says Dr Charan Lanjewar, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist & Associate Professor (Unit Head) at G.S Medical College & K.E.M Hospital, Parel, Mumbai.
The findings are significant in view that people with diabetes are known to have a two to four times increased risk ofcoronary arterial disease (CAD) risk. CAD has also been reported to occur two to three decades earlier in diabetic subjects as opposed to their non-diabetic counterparts.
“It is unfortunate that in a country where diabetes is on the verge of becoming an epidemic, people are still ignorant about the implications of diabetes. It is important to understand that diabetes has no cure. But it can be managed or kept in check with a right combination of healthy foods and regular physical activity. And, remember it’s going to be a lifetime regimen. So, just make it a habit and watch out for aggravating symptoms.” Said Dr. Tejas Shah, Diabetologist, IVA Speciality Clinic & Diabetes Center, Mumbai.
Indians are also ignorant of risks associated with high blood pressure as 50 percent respondents do not see high BP as the biggest risk factor for heart disease. Nashik shows least concern with High BP as CVD risk factor whereas Vijayawada, another tier 2 city indicates high concern (81%) towards the same.
On BMI base, only 26 percent are normal, 29 percent are overweight and 19 percent are Obese. This is highly varied from the self assessment of overweight (including Obese) which is mentioned just 10% percent. This indicates that nearly 38 percent of respondents are at high risk without knowing or realising it. City-wise analysis shows that only 4 percent respondents in Mumbai perceive them as obese while a highest 55 percent of those in Chennai put them in obese category.