Number of patients in India high compared to other nations

The consumption of high-fat, energy-dense, fast food leads to diabetes, said V. Shantha, Chairperson, Cancer Institute, here on Saturday.

Speaking after launching the M.V. Centre for Diabetes Senior Citizen Outpatient Privilege Card, she said that the number of people afflicted with diabetes in India was high compared to other countries. This was due to food habits and lack of exercise.

Thanks to advances in the medical field, many diseases could be cured. The medical fraternity had moved from cure to control. As far as the non-communicable diseases — cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases — were concerned, the thrust area should be prevention. Care, cure and control should be the motto to tackle these health problems.

Vijay Viswanathan, managing director, M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, said that annually 4.6 million people died around the world due to diabetes, of which 48 per cent of people were below the age of 60.

In the United States, diabetes patients could avail themselves of insurance polices whereas such patients in India were not included under the insurance cover and had to spend from their pocket.

His organisation had decided help senior citizens aged above 80 years for whom the hospital would provide treatment for diabetes at 50 per cent of the total cost.

The privilege card had been introduced for this purpose.

Ninety-nine-year-old patient P. V. Ramasamy of Sivaganga district, who is suffering from diabetes for more than 25 years, shared his views and said his restricted diet habit and regular intake of medicines on time without fail had helped him live longer.

On the occasion, the hospital honoured 25 octogenarians who survived with diabetes.