Medical researchers recommend diabetes screening from 25 years of age

Unprecedented increase in diabetes the world over during and post-COVID, says study

Following a countrywide study, whose results have now been published in the medical journal Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome – Clinical Research & Reviews, an expert panel of researchers has recommended early screening for diabetes from the age of 25.

Existing ICMR guidelines suggest starting diabetes screening for people aged 30 and above.

In the study, data from multiple tertiary diabetes centres across the country showed a trend of increasing prevalence of diabetes in the younger age group in the past one decade. Among the diabetics sampled for the study, 77.6% of those below the age of 30 were found to be either overweight or obese.

“There is an unprecedented increase in diabetes the world over during and post-COVID, which is reflected in India as well, with an already existing 77 million people with diabetes. It takes 8 to10 years of uncontrolled diabetes for people to develop complications. Unfortunately, this happens to 50% to 90% of patients in our country. Billions are spent treating the avoidable complications of diabetes affecting the kidney, heart, nervous system, eyes etc. More and more productive younger age groups being affected with diabetes will have a serious socio-economic impact,” said a communication shared by the researchers.

There is an urgent requirement to promote low fat, low sugar, low salt diet and appropriate daily exercise from childhood onwards. Those 25 years and older with a protuberant belly or those who are overweight or obese or with a family history of diabetes among their close relatives should test for diabetes at least once in a year even though they feel healthy otherwise, it noted. The researchers include Dr. Anoop Misra (Delhi), Dr. A. Ramachandran (Chennai), Dr. Jothydev Kesavadev (Thiruvananthapuram) Dr. Banshi Saboo (Ahmedabad), Dr. Shashank Joshi (Mumbai), Dr. Aravind Sosale (Bengaluru), and Dr. A.K. Das (Puducherry).

Dr. Misra, the lead author, made an appeal to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and to the ICMR to lower the age of screening for diabetes from the current recommended age of 30 to 25 years.

“The prevalence of diabetes in Kerala is more than twice when compared to that of other Indian States. The same trend is observed with higher prevalence of diabetes among the younger population in Kerala. We need to be proactive in urgently promoting testing and healthy lifestyles from the World Diabetes Day on November 14,” said Dr. Kesavadev, co-author.

Source: Read Full Article