19th April 21:12
DIABETES CLOUD OVER MUMBAI, WARNS STUDY (diabetes blindness gangrene kidney down)
Diabetes cloud over Mumbai, warns study
By Radha Rajadhyaksha
Times News Network
Thursday, August 7, 2003
Mumbai - It's a bitter pill for Mumbaikars, but sugar
is absolutely the wrong substance to coat it with. One in
five Mumbaikars will be a diabetic in less than 10 years,
says a new study by well-known endocrinologist Shashank
Dr Joshi, an academician and medical journalist who has
worked for The New York Times , initiated the three-year
sequential study in June 1992. Working with a sample size
of 1,800 people in 10 cities of western India, his
preliminary findings have been published in medical
journals and presented at national and international
According to Dr Joshi, sub-clinical diabetes (blood sugar
levels between 90 and 126) is "already an epidemic" in
urban India and its rapid progression is worrying.
Diabetes patients have to suffer a regimented lifestyle
and diabetes-related complications such as blindness,
gangrene and kidney failure are leading causes of
amputation and death.
While diabetes statistics for India are alarming--every
fifth diabetic in the world is Indian and Indians are
genetically pre-disposed to the disease --the
susceptibility of Mumbaikars to the disease is heightened
by migration, says Dr Joshi. "Because of migration,
there's a change in lifestyle, which is a leading
causative factor in diabetes today," he avers. "We eat
unhealthy food and lead sedentary lifestyles, which
Impoverished migrant workers are at risk even though
their lifestyles aren't significantly enriched after they
move to Mumbai. "It may not be an enrichment it's a
change of lifestyle," says Dr Joshi.
"The migrant makes a meal vada-pau, he eats food cooked
in rancid oil and on--a sea change from food he ate in
his village which, though meagre, was more wholesome.
This class is also dangerously on the brink--I teach at
government hospital like J.J. and consult at a high-end
like Leelavati, and the incidence diabetes in both is
going up, down."
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