Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that is affecting millions of people across the globe and the numbers are increasing day by day. If the findings of the latest studies are to be believed, more than 98 million Indians would be diabetic by the year 2030. What we eat or drink in our daily diet holds a great importance for diabetes management. According to a recent study, led by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, diabetes has significantly increased the risk of premature death, especially in women and middle-aged people.
India and China are among the top countries that are affected by diabetes in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has close to 62 million people living with the diseases and is projected to have close to 70 million diabetics by 2025.
"Given the increased prevalence of obesity and rapid adoption of a westernized lifestyle in Asia, that figure is expected to exceed 355 million by 2040," said the researchers of the study.
"The risk associated with diabetes is much higher than that reported by most previous studies conducted in the US and Europe," said the study's corresponding author Wei Zheng in a paper reported in the journal JAMA Network Open.
For the study, researchers analysed data from 22 prospective cohort studies of various countries - from mainland China to Bangladesh. Moreover, researchers followed dietary patterns of more than one million individuals for an average of 12.6 years. It was found that diabetes may double the risk of pre-mature death from all causes.
"The diabetes-related risk of death from all causes was particularly high for women and patients who were diagnosed with diabetes when they were middle-aged adults," researchers said.
It was also found that the results were relevant for certain racial and ethnic groups in North America, including Asian Americans, who are more susceptible to insulin resistance and are at higher risk of developing diabetes than the people of European origin.
"Whether this may increase their risk of premature death once they develop diabetes has not yet been determined," said Zheng.
The researchers noted that due to the lack of access to diabetes care in Asian countries, there is an unusually higher risk of premature death among people, especially women. "There is an urgent need to implement diabetes management programmes tailored to Asian populations," researchers added.