Neuberg Diagnostics, India’s fourth largest diagnostic chain, conducted a study on the prevalence of prediabetes in five cities viz. Ahmedabad (Neuberg Supratech), Bangalore (Neuberg Anand), Chennai (Neuberg Ehrlich), Kochi (Neuberg Diagnostics) and Hyderabad (Neuberg Diagnostics). The study assessed 453,854 fasting blood sugar test samples across age groups collected between October 2018 and October 2020. The results indicated that across age groups, 24% of the people had borderline levels of blood sugar i.e. were prediabetic.
The highest prevalence was observed among those over 50 years age at 68%; followed by 36 to 50 years of age group at 24%. The prevalence among those less than 35 years of age group was 8%.
Dr. Sandip Shah, Executive Director, Neuberg Diagnostics said, “Every person today is at risk of having or developing diabetes, but the only way to know this is through regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. Lately, we have seen that people consider body mass index (BMI) as the ultimate benchmark for their health status but even people with balanced BMI can have diabetes. We have seen a healthy looking individual with borderline diabetes. So clearly, healthy lifestyle is not an indicator of absence of diabetes.”
He added, “Genetics influence the propensity of people having borderline diabetes. We encourage parents with diabetes to ensure that their children keep check of their sugar levels right from the age of 18. Parents should be watchful of other symptoms in younger children. Early detection of pre-diabetes can enable them to prevent it.”
Dr. Sujay Prasad, Medical Director, Neuberg Diagnostics said, “Before becoming a diabetic, a healthy person goes through a stage of prediabetes. This stage could be a few months to couple of years depending on lifestyle and diet. During prediabetes stage, blood sugar is elevated, but not enough to satisfy the international criteria for diabetes. This awareness will help persons with prediabetes to manage their sugar levels and prevent becoming diabetic. Regular monitoring through health checks is a sure way of becoming aware if one is a prediabetic and prevent progression to diabetes.”
Study found that about 0.32% of prediabetics were from 0-18 age group.On this, Dr. Prasad added, “Prediabetes can develop at any age however with advance age, the risk becomes higher.”
Ms Aishwarya Vasudevan, Group Chief Operating Officer, Neuberg Diagnostics said, “Our study implies that there is need for continuous awareness on diabetes and pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the leading silent disease world over. With awareness, timely diagnosis & treatment, and the right changes in diet & lifestyle, prediabetes can be reversed, and diabetes can be prevented.”
For this study, the standard fasting blood sugar test value between 100 to 125 was considered as prediabetics.