Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday reiterated her commitment towards supporting the cause of nipping diabetes in the bud and hailed a new portal, www.ddrc.in, as a “complete information platform for people with diabetes to enable them to lead a happy and healthy life.”
Speaking after launching a first-of-its-kind “made for India” diabetes education portal that has been developed by the Delhi Diabetic Research Centre, Ms. Dikshit hoped that the website would address the cause of depression among diabetics and provide information, awareness and education that is specific to Indian diabetic patients.
DDRC chairman A. K. Jhingan presented a study report on “Depression and Diabetes’’ at the launch. He said the two-year study had revealed that incidence of depression was as high in Indian diabetic patients as patients in the West. As a result, patients were having high sugar levels in their blood. “Such patients are heavily dependent on anti-depressant medication and miss out on essential diabetes medications besides facing sleep deprivation that leads to irritable behaviour,’’ he said.
The study was carried in 1,166 diabetic patients in the age group of 35 to 60 years and it revealed that depression was more prominent and frequent in those up to 46 years of age. In this group, while 18 per cent of diabetic females suffered from depression, the number was slightly lower at 15 per cent for males.
According to the study, depression can trigger Type 2 diabetes and at the same time diabetic patients might also develop depression. Unless proper measures are taken to overcome the incidence of depression in diabetes, it would be difficult to achieve better control on diabetes.
Dr. Jhingan explained that the association between diabetes and depression happens to due to a hormone known as cortisol which is produced as a result of stress. “High levels of cortisol are known to impair insulin sensitivity and contribute to fat distribution in the waste line area. Excess belly fat is a major risk factor for diabetes,” he added.