Young women in urban areas are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes as 65% women were found to not exercise at all, according to the ‘Diabetes and Women’s Health’ survey conducted by Novo Nordisk India (a leading diabetes care company) in partnership with Kantar IMRB.
Owing to the theme of World Diabetes Day 2017-‘Women and Diabetes, our right to a healthy future’; the survey was conducted to assess the current level of awareness of diabetes among women in India.
A total sample size of 1055 women, belonging to the age group of 18-65 years were interviewed to draw insights on the level of awareness on risks emerging from Diabetes. The survey conducted across 14 cities in the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Indore, Guwahati, Kochi and Vijaywada reflects that 78% women interviewed were aware of diabetes as a serious health concern and more than 70% women believed that a healthy lifestyle will help prevent diabetes and its associated complications.
Low physical activity coupled with poor eating habits and high-stress life, puts women in the reproductive age at risk of developing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Further, a study conducted by Prof V Seshiah, Chairman, Dr V Seshiah Diabetes Research Institute, Chennai, demonstrates that children born to women diagnosed with GDM are at increased risk of future diabetes due to “gestational programming”, wherein exposure to diabetes during foetal development predisposes the individual to diabetes later in adult life2.
“There is a clear need to build awareness about early diagnosis of diabetes and treatment initiation especially among women in the reproductive age group. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise daily along with healthy eating habits is critical to preventing Diabetes,” said Dr Shaila S Bhattacharyya, MD, MRCP, DM–(Endocrinology).
According to the International Diabetes Federation [IDF] 8th Atlas 2017, India is inching closer to overtake China to have the largest population of people with diabetes: 72.9 million are living with diabetes currently and is expected to grow upto 134.3 million by 2045 1. The atlas also points out that one in six births globally (16.2%) is affected by GDM. However, the Novo Nordisk-Kantar IMRB survey suggests that in India 73% of urban women are unaware of GDM and its related risks for next generation health.
“The data reflects that there is an imperative need for women to be aware of GDM and the responsibility also lies on the doctors to ensure that expecting mothers are educated about GDM. This will help raise healthier children”, added Dr Bhattacharya.
Corresponding with Dr Shaila S Bhattacharya, Melvin D’souza, Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India said, “Women are the agents of change in every family and ensure that every family member eats healthy and follows a healthy lifestyle. While it is encouraging to note that 78% of the respondents were aware about diabetes and its complications, it is alarming to note that women are not taking concrete actions to address this challenge. The time has now come for the nation to collaborate and ACT (awareness, capacity building and treatment) against diabetes and safeguard next generation health. We as an organization are committed to change the Diabetes Barometer and will continue to work towards empowering women by providing knowledge, strengthening their capacity to manage type 2 diabetes in families and thus making India a more diabetes-aware nation. At Novo Nordisk, we will continue to lead the war against diabetes.”
On account of World Diabetes Day, Novo Nordisk also organized a Diabetes awareness drive at Vikasa Soudha in Bangalore with Karnataka State Government Employees Association that saw a participation of more than 1000 employees from the association.