1 out of 10 Srinagar adults aged above 20 diabetic

Experts say consumption of soft drinks a big culprit; smokers at higher risk

Zehru Nissa
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 18 2018 12:03AM | Updated Date: May 18 2018 12:03AM
1 out of 10 Srinagar adults aged above 20 diabeticFile Photo

It’s alarming. One out of every ten residents of Srinagar aged over 20 years has insulin dependent diabetes.  

A study by Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar has revealed the huge burden of diabetes in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, also highlighting the grossly elevated fasting glucose level, a precursor to diabetes, in the urban population.

If that was not shocking enough, 22 percent of the Srinagar population suffers from impaired fasting glucose (IFG), a condition also called pre-diabetes which indicates a person would eventually land-up a diabetic if no medical intervention is done immediately.

The findings are part of a study titled “Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Among Adult Population of District Srinagar”.

The study recently revealed during post-graduate research presentations (PGRP) of GMC Srinagar won the top prize at the event.

Undertaken by Dr Sheikh Mohd Saleem, a postgraduate scholar of GMC’s department of community medicine, the research in addition to studying prevalence of diabetes in Srinagar also looked at who was at the greatest risk of getting the killer disease.

One of the major findings of the steady is that 24 percent of consumers of soft drinks 1-3 times a week had IFG, while among those who never consumed these carbonated drinks only 14 percent had the condition. 

Similarly, 31 percent of smokers were pre-diabetics compared to just 19 percent of non-smokers.

Dr Saleem said he chose to study the behavioural aspects that can lead to diabetes owing to the misconceptions prevalent in our society regarding the calorie-count and sugar-load. 

“If someone feels they have eaten in excess, they gulp down a can of soft drink, adding more to the calories,” he said. 

Eating preferences of youngsters who prefer junk food, saturated in fats and binge on aerated drinks thinking that they are in-control of their diets was intriguing, Dr Saleem said.

Out of three participants in the study, one was aged between 20 and 40 years. Astonishingly, 20 percent of these youngsters had impaired glucose levels, only three percent less than that of older people. 

“What makes this percentage important is that till date diabetes and pre-diabetes was associated with high age. But now, the age factor is diminishing,” Dr Saleem said.

The doctor feels that there was a huge gap in nutrition education in the state. 

“We need to educate our people about diabetes, pre-diabetes, and life-style choices and changes,” he said.

Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW), earlier this year, had directed states, including J&K to ensure no aerated drinks and foods high in saturated fats were available in school and college canteens.

“Excessive and regular use of aerated and energy drinks may lead to hypokalaemia, hallucinations, stroke, paralysis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc.” the ministry had said.