Onset of diabetes can be prevented or delayed: Experts

Mumbai: The onset of diabetes can be prevented or delayed by adopting lifestyle measures such as maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet, medical experts have said.

The experts were speaking at a function organised by Unity Welfare Society on the occasion of World Health Day, on April 7.

The theme of the event was ‘Stay Super.Beat Diabetes’, a release issued here said.

“A large number of diabetes cases are preventable.

Lifestyle measures can be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes,” Dr Altamash Shaikh, leading Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, said in his address.

“Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications through increased access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment,” he said.

Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and reduces hypertension. People who are overweight or obese should, therefore, be encouraged to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, Shaikh said.

Underlining the perils of smoking, he said it is a well-established risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and its complications.

Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher- than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases, Shaikh said quoting a WHO report.

Forty-three per cent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70, he said.

Diabetes, a non-communicable disease, is on its way to becoming the seventh leading cause of death in the world, directly impacting millions of people around the world, mostly in low and middle income households, speakers said at the function.

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