Diabetes mellitus showed an “increased prevalence” in the southern and eastern parts of the country with an average national prevalence of 6.96 percent last year, a new study by a leading healthcare group has claimed.
On the eve of World Health Day, Apollo group held a virtual press conference and shared insights from the study, compiled in Health of the Nation 2022 report based on data gleaned from its clients over digital platform in 2021, a spokesperson said.
“Key findings of the report for diabetes mellitus show an increased prevalence in the southern and eastern parts of the country with an average national prevalence of 6.96 percent. Urban areas showed a higher prevalence at 7.01 percent as compared to rural areas with 6.70 percent,” it claimed in a statement.
The study also showed obesity in women over 35 years of age leading to poor diabetes control and increasing risk of heart disease and other complications.
The report highlighted the prevalence and distribution of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the country.
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Based on “16 million anonymised responses to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Scanner by Apollo 24/7, the report gives critical insights on trends in NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, COPD & asthma, obesity in different regions of the country”, the group said in the statement.
The report also underscores the potential of AI and data analytics in prediction of risk and early identification as well as management of NCDs.Data also indicated poor diabetes control in women with high cholesterol with a 0.5 increase in HbA1c diabetes marker levels, it said.
In hypertension, the study showed a national prevalence of high blood pressure at over 8.18 percent with a higher incidence in North and East India.
Data also indicated that adult males between the ages of 36 to 50 years have a 36 percent higher chance of developing hypertension than adult females in the same age range. Urban areas at 8.6 percent showed a higher incidence as compared to rural areas with 7.58 percent, it added.Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and asthma showed an incidence similar to global numbers at 2 percent. Here, females between 36-50 years of age showed a 1.3 times higher chance of developing COPD as compared to males, the study claimed.
Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “The last year saw the country steadily building a bulwark against COVID-19 with a robust vaccination programme that led to a steady fall in the number of Covid cases.
“As we emerge from the shadow of Covid, it is imperative to bring the focus back on the pandemic of NCDs, a focus that faced a disruption impacting diagnosis and treatment for millions of patients”.
It is the only way we will succeed against the multiple challenges we face today with the pandemic, a polluted planet, and an increasing incidence of diseases that form the theme for World Health Day 2022 is ‘Our Planet, Our Health’, he was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Health of the Nation study also looked at corporate employee data of about 35,000, where the average prevalence of at least one NCD in employees is about 56 per cent, it said.The NCD risk factors of high cholesterol is prevalent in 48 per cent of employees and obesity in 18 per cent of employees. There is variability across sectors, indicating that more sedentary corporate settings should consider ways to help their employees proactively reduce these risks, the report claimed.
Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “NCDs are fuelled by many factors that include urban lifestyles with stress and unhealthy diets and an aging population.
“Study results, derived from 35,000 health checks done with the corporate in 2021, has also shown a high prevalence of NCDs among corporate employees. These insights will help us use technology to gain an upper hand in ensuring a healthy workforce”.