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Diabetics risk losing eyesight

Study says more than 50 p.c. patients visiting eye doctors are diabetics

More than half the patients visiting an eye doctor had had diabetes for over 10 years, 15 per cent of them for 20 years, making them high-risk groups for vision loss, says a multi-city India study on Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).

The study, conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says 45 per cent of patients had lost their vision before they knew they suffered from DR.

Little awareness

“It’s clear there is a lack of awareness on diabetes and its obvious link to vision loss. Hyderabad is the diabetic capital of South Asia and screening and awareness campaigns should be more focussed,” said director of the Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, G.V.S. Murthy told reporters.

Interestingly, the study said 40 per cent of the patients in public hospitals, and 13 per cent in private facilities, did not receive any information about diabetes and its complications from care givers. Fifty per cent private eye clinics acknowledged that there was a need to train their health workers on DR.

“Public health institutions in India should strive to provide one-stop service to diabetics. Patients should have access to diabetologists, kidney (nephrologist) and eye (ophthalmologist) doctor, foot check-up, dietician, and diagnostic services like urine and blood tests under one roof. There is also a need train personnel to detect DR,” said Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust CEO Astrid Bonfield.

State services fall short

The study acknowledged that government-run diabetic clinics did not have services on DR, 70 per cent of the facilities (public and private) had no dieticians, a third of the patients (33 per cent) received no health education on DR and two-third of DR patients did not know that diabetes is the reason for their condition.

“Early detection and management is the key to save patients from losing their vision. There is no organised screening and management programmes for DR in India and there is a need to evolve a sustainable model to control DR and reduce its risk by better control of diabetes,” summed up Dr. Astrid.

The study was conducted in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat, Pune, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram and Noida and covered a total of 86 eye clinics, 73 diabetic facilities and nearly 850 patients in the last four months.

Lifestyle diseases, stress taking a toll on Hyderabad youth

TNN Dec 21, 2013, 12.26AM IST

• Uday Reddy|
• Fernandez Hospital|
• Apollo Hospital
HYDERABAD: Work pressure, erratic lifestyle and irregular eating habits are causing serious lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes among younger professionals in the city. Experts in the field of wellness and management say they have been observing a worrying trend wherein conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which are typically observed among people above 40 years, is being diagnosed in people as young as 20.
“There is enough awareness about diabetes, obesity and hypertension among the youth. But what almost everyone is unaware of is that the age for getting these conditions can be easily pushed down if lifestyle habits are not maintained properly,” said Dr Rajib Paul, physician at Apollo Hospital. He added that the hospital sees at least 10 to 15 fresh cases of diabetes everyday and many of the sufferers are in their 20s.
As per the findings of a three-year nationwide study released a few months ago, Hyderabad emerged as one of the top three cities in the country to have rampant obesity, with 52% of the respondents from the city being found obese.
“Obesity invariably triggers other serious issues like arthritis, poly cystic ovaries in women and cardio vascular diseases. Working professionals and students find it increasingly difficult to manage their time and lifestyle, and often choose unhealthy food leading to obesity,” said Dr Janaki Srinath, consultant nutritionist at Nutrifit Counselling Centre and Fernandez Hospital.
Meanwhile, stress and tension levels are also piling up among the young workforce of the city.
“Most people think the answer lies in solving all of life’s problems, whereas the solution really lies in how well you manage and work your way around your issues,” said Dr Uday Reddy, counsellor at the Stress Management Lab in Banjara Hills, which gets around 150 patients complaining of stress-related problems per month.
“Once a person realizes that his/her lifestyle and state of mind can cause health concerns, there needs a complete attitudinal shift. For this, no counsellor can help beyond a point and motivation must come from within,” Reddy added.

Focus on health & edu for growth: Amartya Sen


Hyderabad: Nothing is more important for economic growth than a healthy and educated workforce,said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen,adding that this is the reason why governments must focus most on education and health.Citing the example of Kerala,he said,the state had climbed the ladder to record the highest per capita income in the country primarily because of this.You can see it happening in Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh too now, he added.
Though not against privatization,Sen quoted modern worlds first economist Adam Smith,who though a proponent of a free market had argued that there are certain things that the government must do,to buttress his point.He also quoted from Nobel prize winning economist Kenneth Arrows work to show that the private sector cannot effectively deliver education and health to all.
Sen was delivering the first lecture of the Hyderabad Series at the University of Hyderabad on Thursday,where he was earlier honoured with a doctorate in literature,honoris causa.The degree was originally conferred upon him by the universitys School of Social Sciences way back in 1993 but Sen hadnt had the time to receive it.
The economist urged the media to shift its focus on these two sectors of concern.Drawing comparisons between India and China,the Nobel laureate said that the latter had made significant progress as it spent 5% of its GDP on healthcare,as against Indias meager allocation of 1.2%.
So abysmal is the situation here that India is among the bottom three or four among 200 countries,he added.Even Bangladesh,which was once three years behind us in life expectancy,is now three years ahead of us, Sen pointed out,attributing this primarily to government activism.Sen was tempted to critique the economic development model of Modis Gujarat but stopped short


New study finds high prevalence of hypothyroidism in Hyderabad

Dec 19, 2013, 05.02AM IST TNN
HYDERABAD: A study funded by a pharma major on the prevalence of the thyroid disorder claims that about one in 10 persons in the city suffers from hypothyroidism.

The ‘Thyroid Epidemiological Study’ funded by Abbott was conducted in eight cities, including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, besides Hyderabad with a total sample of 5,360.

“Approximately, 9% of the study population (383 persons in the twin cities ) reported hypothyroidism in Hyderabad. About 50% were oblivious of their medication condition. Additionally, about 24% of the population tested positive for antibodies that puts them at a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism in the future,” said Dr Loy Camoens, physician, Healing Touch Hospital, at a media conference organized to release the data on Hyderabad.

According to the study, women are three times more susceptible to hypothyroidism compared to men. Experts are surprised at the high prevalence of the disease in the city- almost double that of developed countries, where it ranges between 4% and 5%.

“Decades ago, iodine deficiency was the main cause of hypothyroidism but now India is iodine sufficient. In most cases, body’s immune system plays a pivotal role,” said Dr Rakesh Kumar Sahay, one of the principal investigators of the study and head, endocrinology department, Osmania Medical College. An auto-immune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. Experts say that it occurs due to chemicals in the food and toxins among others. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to decreased fertility, high cholesterol levels, blood pressure and cardiovascular complications.

Doctors said the symptoms of the disease are often confused with other disorders, thus making thyroid one of the most under-diagnosed disorders in India. Like diabetes, there is no permanent cure for thyroid disorders. However, with medication and proper treatment, thyroid can be controlled thereby helping patients to lead normal lives, they said. The study findings, doctors said, calls for a review of current practices in the treatment of thyroid disorders and an emphasis on active screening of endocrine function in patients at risk.

Thyroid produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. However, if it does not produce these hormones, many of the body’s vital functions slow down. Symptoms include weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, hair loss and depression among others.

For box:

The ‘Thyroid Epidemiological Study’ was conducted in eight cities, including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, besides Hyderabad

Study says women are three times more susceptible to hypothyroidism compared to men

Experts are surprised at the high prevalence of the disease in the city – almost double that of developed countries, where it ranges between 4% and 5%.

Like diabetes, there is no permanent cure for thyroid disorders. However, with medication and proper treatment, thyroid can be controlled, say experts

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