People with diabetes face a two to four times increased risk of coronary arterial disease (CAD), according to a study conducted by Adam Heath Research. The study noted that CAD has also been reported to occur two to three decades earlier in diabetic subjects as opposed to their non-diabetic counterparts. The study said that diabetes is on the verge of becoming an epidemic in the country and that people are still ignorant about the implications of diabetes.
Another interesting point that came up to the fore during the study is that as many as 38 per cent of Indians who believe they are healthy, are actually suffering from diabetes.
It revealed that while another 28 per cent of healthy individuals have been diagnosed with pre-diabetics based on their HbA1c levels, two-thirds are either having CVD risk or risk-prone.
Besides, 50 per cent of Indians are unaware that diabetes and obesity are the most closely associated risk factors with heart diseases. A whopping 88 per cent don't know that high cholesterol may lead to heart disease, the study said.
"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,” Dr Tejas Shah, Diabetologist, IVA Speciality Clinic & Diabetes Center, Mumbai, said.
The findings also said that Indians are also ignorant of risks associated with high blood pressure as 50 per cent of the respondents don't see high blood pressure as the biggest risk factor for heart disease.
Dr Charan Lanjewar of GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, said that the prevalence of hardening of arteries is on the rise, particularly in the 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 per cent population. So, it is time we pay attention to our lifestyle to prevent our risk of developing such diseases,” he said, adding that regular physical activity and a healthy diet can help prevent the rise of CVD disorders among young people.