The average diabetes control level continues to be alarmingly high in Guwahati: India Diabetes Care Index

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  • The average HbA1clevel – the best indicator of a patient’s long-term blood sugar control, stood at 8.42% for people living with diabetes in Guwahati.

  • The risk of fatal outcome and severe health complications from COVID-19 is up to 50% higher in people with diabetes

  • 1000 people with an average age of 54years were part of the analysis in the city, out of which 61% were male and 39% were female

In the run-up to World Diabetes Day, the Novo Nordisk Education Foundation today unveiled the second-year report of its Impact India: 1000-Day Challenge’ programme. The programme was launched two years ago to address the issue of sub optimally controlled diabetes in India.According to the report, the average HbA1c level in Guwahati was recorded at 8.42% in September 2020. The average HbA1c level has marginally increased as compared to last year’s figures and the prevailing high HbA1c levels is a matter of deep concern especially in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic which puts people with uncontrolled diabetes at a higher risk of a fatal outcome and serious health complications.

HbA1cis the best recommended indicator of long-term blood sugar control and gives an average blood sugar control over the preceding three months. 1000 people with an average age of 54 years were part of the analysis in the city, out of which 61% were male and 39% were female.

Speaking about the report,Dr. Karuna Kanta Barman, Consultant  Diabetologistand Director of Barman Diabetes Specialties, Guwahati said, “The high level of HbA1c in Guwahati needs immediate attention as the risk of severe health complications from COVID-19 is up to 50% higher among people with diabetes. To keep the glucose level in check, it is important for one to continue medications regularly along with frequent self monitoring of blood glucose and to maintain a healthy lifestyle encompassing a nutritious diet and a regular exercise regimen, since uncontrolled diabetes damages the vital organs like the eyes, kidney, heart, etc.”

With the existing pandemic situation with COVID-19, people with diabetes should keep an adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring blood glucose at home. If symptoms like difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell are experienced, immediate medical attention should be sought.

IDCI is a part of the ‘Impact India: 1000-Day Challenge’ programme by Novo Nordisk Education Foundationand serves as a guiding tool for the status of diabetes care across India. iDCI was introduced in 2018 as part of the programme to monitor the diabetes care status in the country. Based on big data analytics, iDCI has been providing a real-time view of the average HbA1c in India, a key indicator of the state of diabetes control across select cities.

At present, more than 77 million people are living with diabetes in India. Under the IMPACT India programme, digital platforms are being leveraged to partner with practitioners (doctors and paramedics) to evolve and implement an approach to diabetes care appropriate to India. iDCI is a dynamic tool that not only tracks the status of diabetes care but also helps to increase awareness, motivate and sensitize healthcare professionals (HCPs) and society. The last two years of the programme have seen significant contributions from HCPs and people living with diabetes from across the country. There has been an improving trend in the iDCI results every quarter, and this would lead to a reduction in the future burden of diabetes-related complications in India.

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