The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fat & in diabetic family'
Beware 10 per cent 20-plus people pre-diabetic

Calcutta, Nov. 11: Suman Chanda is apparently fit and fine. The 30-year-old software professional working in Salt Lake’s Sector V does not show symptoms of any disease.

However, during a corporate check-up at a private hospital in the city today, Chanda (name changed) was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

“Pre-diabetes is essentially a grey zone between normal glucose tolerance and diabetes,” said Subhankar Chowdhury, head of the endocrinology department at SSKM Hospital.

“It can be more-than-normal fasting blood sugar — between 100 and 126 mg per 100 ml — or 140-199 mg per 100 ml two hours after consuming 75 grams of glucose.”

People who are obese, have a family history of diabetes and have a strenuous work schedule and related lifestyle problems are most likely to be pre-diabetic.

The importance of identifying this condition is twofold. It rings the warning bell underlining the need to be cautious to prevent the onset of diabetes as well as heart diseases and strokes, which pre-diabetics are prone to, Chowdhury explained.

According to doctors, 10 to 12 per cent of the adult population in the city is pre- diabetic.

“An increasing number of people are becoming pre-diabetic at a young age because of changes in lifestyle and food habits,” said Tirthankar Chaudhury, a diabetes and endocrinology consultant at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.

Chaudhury said 7 per cent of pre-diabetic people develop diabetes every year. “However, proper intervention like change in food habits and lifestyle can prevent or postpone diabetes by nearly 10 years.”

“A third of the patients with pre-diabetes may develop diabetes,” said Sudip Chatterjee, an endocrinologist with Park Clinic.

According to him, those with family history and obesity must go for regular blood tests. “Proper weight loss measures, change in food habits and drugs can prevent diabetes,” Chatterjee added.

A decade ago, Type II diabetes — a disease that shows up in adult age and responds to drugs (insulin, for example) and changes in lifestyle and food habits — was prevalent in the age group of 50 and above. People in their mid or late 40s used to be pre-diabetic.

Now, an increasing number of people in their late 20s or early 30s are developing diabetes.

“Corporate health check-ups reveal a large number of junior and middle-level executives in this age group suffer from pre-diabetes,” said the Apollo doctor.

A mere 1 per cent of the people who got themselves checked in their 20s and 30s were pre-diabetic a few years ago. Almost 10 per cent of them are in that state now.

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