24% of Indians are borderline diabetic: Study

During the prediabetes stage, blood sugar is elevated, but not enough to satisfy international criteria.

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Medical Devices Lab

BENGALURU: A study done on 4,A study conducted on 4,53,854 people across five cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad — by Neurberg Diagnostics found that 24 per cent of the people were prediabetic, i.e. borderline diabetic

The study, done between October 2018 and October 2020, assessed their fasting blood sugar levels and observed that among those over 50 years of age, prevalence was highest at 68 per cent. This was followed by the 36 to 50 age group, with 24 per cent, and 8 per cent in the under-35 age group. 

In Bengaluru, out of 3,37,307 people tested, 81,075 were pre-diabetic, with the highest number of people (55,111) falling in the over-50 age group. The study also found that more men than women were pre-diabetic as well as diabetic. 

Dr Sujay Prasad, medical director, Neuberg Diagnostics, said, “Before becoming diabetic, a healthy person goes through a stage of prediabetes, lasting a few months to a couple of years, depending on lifestyle and diet. During the prediabetes stage, blood sugar is elevated, but not enough to satisfy international criteria.

This awareness will help persons with prediabetes manage sugar levels and prevent them from becoming diabetic. Regular monitoring is a sure way of becoming aware if one is prediabetic.” The study found that about 0.32% of prediabetics were in the 0-18 age group.


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On this, Dr Prasad added, “Prediabetes can develop at any age, however, with advanced age, risk becomes higher.” There are no symptoms in prediabetes, which makes it as much of a silent killer as diabetes. It can be reversed with diet, exercise and weight loss, provided the person does not gain the weight back.

“Blood sugar from food needs to be pushed into muscles, liver and fat, which is done by insulin. But when there is too much blood sugar, it spills into the blood. The body produces more and more insulin, while the organs develop insulin resistance.

Excess blood sugar then settles around the belly. This leads to fatty liver in men and PCOD in women. Insulin resistance leads to weight gain,” said Dr Ritessh V Raj, consultant diabetologist, Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory. Organs such as kidney, eyes, as well as, the nervous system cannot resist insulin and then get affected..


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