New study offers hope to India’s diabetes patients

June 7th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Intensive haemoglobin glucose control to the tune of 6.5 percent can reduce diabetes complications like kidney failure and cardiovascular diseases in a major way, shows a new study conducted across 20 countries including India. The ADVANCE (Action in Diabetes and Vascular Diseases) study - carried out by the George Institute, Australia, with its findings released in the US Saturday - has said that with diabetes becoming a global epidemic the risk of both economic and human loss will be huge.

“The ADVANCE results go beyond existing evidence as we have now shown that reducing the haemoglobin A1c level (a marker of blood glucose control) to 6.5 percent is a safe and effective way to reduce serious complications, particularly the risk of kidney disease, one of the most serious and disabling consequences of diabetes, leading to death in one in five people with diabetes,” Stephen MacMahon, principal director of the George Institute, said in a statement.

D. Prabhakaran, a cardiologist who was part of the experts group, said the study surveyed 11,140 patients including 415 Indians with Type-2 diabetes.

“The study took into account 415 Indians from Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Nagpur. The patients were at least 30 years of age and have some major complications like hypertension and cardiovascular problems,” Prabhakaran told IANS.

These samples were followed up for a period of five years before the results were announced.

“Generally the haemoglobin A1c level in a diabetes patient goes up to nine grams per 100 ml of blood,” Prabhakaran added. “The study has found that the level needs to be reduced to at least 6.5 percent to reduce the major risks.

“This will save people from kidney damage or cardiovascular diseases.”

India is home to nearly 41 million diabetes patients and globally 250 million people are living with the condition.

The worldwide figure is estimated to rise to 380 million in 2025 with the largest increases in diabetes prevalence expected to take place in developing countries.

Nikhil Tandon, the national coordinator for ADVANCE at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, said: “The study has provided vital information to India about the effects of managing blood glucose levels in diabetes.

“This is important as India is estimated to have over 40 million persons with diabetes - the highest population of diabetics in the world.”

The haemoglobin A1c level to the tune of 6.5 percent reduces kidney complications by 21 percent and effects 30 percent reduction in the development of proteinurea, an established marker of increased cardiovascular risk.

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