A survey by drug maker sanofi-aventis on diabetes and hypertension prevalance in outpatient settings in ten different states in India revealed some preliminary results based on findings from two states – Delhi and Maharashtra.
The study “highlights a high percentage of diabetes and hypertension patients who are suffering from associated co-morbidities such as kidney disease, dyslipidemia (uncontrolled cholesterol level), and also shows that there are a significant number of cases where patients are suffering from one or both the conditions, in spite of no family history or genetic predisposition towards either disease,” says a sanofi statement. ” The results also alarmingly show that almost a quarter of the hypertensives were still undiagnosed and unaware that they were living with a serious medical condition.”
I have no doubt in my mind that the findings from other states will not deviate hugely from the trend. This begs two questions : won’t this level of disease weigh down India’s ability to emerge rapidly as a ‘super power’ (which many of our key opinion leaders in politics, media, business and social life assume is a matter of course). And two, shouldn’t the country start addressing ways to curb the huge healthcare tab of treating all these sick Indians? We need a massive programme that combines prevention, early diagnosis and intervention and is executed with missionary zeal. Such a programme could potentially also dovetail into how best to use Indian systems of medicine to treat diseases that Indians seem to be more prone to than many other nationalities, for instance.
In the meantime, see findings below :
|Parameters||Maharashtra||New Delhi region|
|Prevalence of diabetes||40%||33%|
|Prevalence of hypertension||56%||48%|
|Prevalence of both diabetes and hypertension||29%||21%|
|Unaware they had diabetes||5%||3%|
|Diabetics with no family history||41%||32%|
|Patients with uncontrolled diabetes||73%||62%|
|Diabetics with kidney complications||31%||27%|
|Unaware they had hypertension||26%||24%|
|Hypertensives with no family history||46%||42%|
|Patients with uncontrolled hypertension||79%||77%|
|Hypertensives with kidney complications||32%||23%|