One out of five men in metropolitan cities of the country are patients of high blood pressure together with Diabetes. This was found in a research study called Screening India’s Twin Epidemic (SITE). It has been India’s largest clinic based survey for assessing the occurrence of these two related diseases. The study also suggests that the percentage of adults suffering from either of the two diseases or both rises to 60 percent.
The study was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company in which 16,000 people of 8 metropolitan cities were tested. The patients walking into general practitioners’ clinics with complaints other than high blood pressure and diabetes were tested. The results came as a shock to principal investigator for SITE, Dr. Shashank Joshi. He was incredulous about the way people ignore their diseases as it was found that people are inclined to not monitor their blood sugar at all.
The blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol level of the patients were evaluated. All these critical health indicators are affected by obesity and non-vegetarianism. Dr. Joshi said that less than 2 percent of people indicated normal levels of all three, while only 20 percent had controlled blood pressure levels. An alarming finding of the study was that 80 percent of people in the study have abdominal obesity.
According to the doctors involved in the research, the biggest challenge that has been thrown up by these findings is the lack of awareness about the condition among patients. Moreover, some estimates from ICMR studies show that pre-diabetes, a condition which makes one prone to developing diabetes is double that of people suffering from diabetes.