‘Youth is no immunity from diabetes’

While diabetes has for long been seen as a disorder affecting the middle-aged,the young population in the city is slowly falling prey to this disease.

Written by Neelam Sharma | Chandigarh | Published: February 16, 2009 3:16:01 am

While diabetes has for long been seen as a disorder affecting the middle-aged,the young population in the city is slowly falling prey to this disease. Lifestyle changes,say doctors,is responsible for the increasing incidence of Type II diabetes among the young.

If Dr K P Singh,Head of the Department of Endocrinology at the Fortis Hospital,Mohali,is to be believed,his youngest patient of Type II diabetes is an 11-year-old child.

“Of the total cases of diabetes,around 1 per cent of the youngsters fall in the 10 to 20 age bracket while another 10 per cent is constituted by people in their 20s. This percentage is increasing with every decade,” says Dr Singh who advocates a simple mantra — thin waist equals long life.

Dr Singh blames the dietary and lifestyle changes for triggering diabetes in the younger population.

“The youngsters diagnosed with diabetes seldom have an active outdoor life as they are more into playing video games,watching TV at home and eating junk food. Not only is childhood obesity on the rise,but related problems like diabetes and cardiovascular problems are also increasing,” adds Dr Singh,who had conducted a survey recently that indicated Ludhiana as the urban centre with the maximum number of diabetic cases.

The two departments at PGI — Endocrinology and Community Medicine — are currently conducting a joint study on the rising number of diabetics in the city,the number of young cases coming to the hospital and the metabolic syndrome.

The already published figures from the institute reveal that more than six per cent of the city residents in the 35 to 54 age group are suffering from diabetes. Also,10 per cent of the population above 55 years is in the grip of the disease.

Professor Rajesh Kumar,Head of Department,Community Medicine,PGI,says the number of young diabetics could be rising and thorough studies need to be undertaken to establish the trend.

“There have been some studies carried out in Delhi and we are also undertaking a project to study the trend of the young falling prey to diabetes,” adds Prof Kumar.

If you are diabetic…
* Go for a periodic check up of blood and urine.
* Make it a habit to have monthly weight check-up.
* Wear shoes all the time. If you do not want to wear shoes indoors,wear slippers with hard soles and good support.
* Maintain a healthy lifestyle,avoid eating junk food. Follow a regular exercise regime.

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