CHENNAI: Living till 100 years of age with diabetes is not just possible, it’s simple, says diabetologist Dr V Mohan. “All it takes is a little self-control.”
Dr Mohan didn’t just present his clinical study of patients aged above 90 years, but living proof of it as well, bringing in three of his case studies – former chief secretary P Sabanayagam, 97, Seshadri Kannan, 92, and Akkamma Krishnamoorthy, 91– to address the gathering at the Mohan Diabetes Research Foundation. His oldest patient, SV Chittibabu, former VC of Madurai Kamaraj University, who just finished celebrating his 100th birthday, couldn’t attend the event even though he was willing.
The study, which Dr Mohan says is the first report on the clinical profile of Asian Indians with Type 2 diabetes aged over 90 years, surveyed 325 people over the age of 90 living with diabetes.
“The current life expectancy for Asian Indians is 67 years for men and 69 for women. Diabetes is known to reduce life expectancy on average by 6-8 years,” says Dr Mohan. He adds that the five-step process to stay ahead of diabetes is to detect it early;
Keep sugar, lipids and BP levels under control;
Have three to four checkups a year;
“Remember that the first ten years of diabetes management are important. If it is managed properly in the first decade, the person rarely develops complications,” he says. “A person with diabetes can sometimes have a better quality of life than someone without if they maintain their health.”
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Akkamma, who volunteers with the Andhra Mahila Sabha, said she walks 40 minutes every day, and irons her clothes herself to keep herself active. “The idea is to be physically active and most important, control stress, don’t allow it to control you,” she said.