Chennai: “Lack of exercise, consumption of fast-food, obesity and sedentary lifestyle can lead to diabetes,” said V. Shantha, Chairperson, Cancer Institute.

Speaking at the launch of M.V. Centre for Diabetes, Senior Citizen Outpatient Privilege Card at M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, Royapuram, on June 16, she said that the number of people with diabetes in India was high when compared to other countries.

“The medical fraternity has moved from cure to control. Prevention should be given more importance in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.

“There is lack of medical care and medical insurance in non-communicable diseases. Care, cure and control should be the focus in non-communicable disease than treatment and management,” she said.

“Diabetes is more of a lifestyle disorder that can be attributed to modifiable risk factors such as lack of physical exercise, obesity and eating junk food.

Awareness and education on diabetes must be done on a large-scale, which should be a continuing programme,” Shanta pointed.

Adequate diabetic control and participation of family and physician is important in diabetic care and preventing health complications, she noted.

M.V. Hospital for Diabetes Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Vishwanathan, said that 4.6 million people died around the world in 2011 due to diabetes, of which 50 per cent of people were below the age of 60.

“India spends 31 billion on diabetic care. Around 60 million people in India are estimated to have diabetes. In India, diabetes patients have to spend money from their own pocket whereas in the United States of America, patients can avail themselves of health insurance policies,” he said.

The hospital launched the Privilege Card for senior citizens aged 80 and above in M.V. Centre for Diabetes, Mylapore and Perungudi, where it would provide a concession of 50 per cent.

The cynosure of all eyes was 99-year-old P.V. Ramasamy of Sivaganga district, who has been suffering from diabetes for the past 25 years. He said that diet control, daily exercise and regular intake of medicines have helped him to live a longer life. More than 20 people, who are 80 years and above and surviving with diabetes, were honoured on the occasion.

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