According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetics in India is expected to cross 100 million by 2030.Diabetes is one of the biggest concerns in India, as the figures are quite astounding.

In India itself, there are 65.1 million patients who have diabetes and another 77 million have prediabetes. Currently, nine out of ten people with diabetes have the type 2 variety, which occurs when the body gradually loses the ability to process blood sugar, and the other one suffers from type 1.But before they develop full-blown type 2 diabetes, most people develop reversible pre-diabetes. If detected early enough, symptoms of this condition can lessen or disappear completely with weight loss to a healthy level by a combination of a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise.


Wherever diabetes is prevalent, deaths due to heart disease are high. The number of people with diabetes around the world is ever increasing, so the outlook for heart disease is becoming even more alarming. The following statistics of The American Heart Association speak loud and clear that there is a strong correlation between Heart disease and diabetes.

Heart diseases and stroke are the No. 1 causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes.

At least 65 per cent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart dis ease or a stroke than adults with out diabetes.

It was always known that heart disease is the number one cause of death in industrialized countries. But now even in less developed countries heart disease is taking over deaths due to infectious disease.

Largest-ever study of deaths in India `Million Deaths Study’ (2014) conducted by the Registrar General of India ( RGI) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows heart ailments have replaced communicable diseases as the biggest killer in rural & urban India.


Diabetes belongs to a special risk category as it markedly increases the risk of heart disease. According to The American Heart Association, diabetes is one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.These modifiable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, lipid abnormalities, obesity, physical inactivity, stress and smoking, have a more harmful effect in the presence of diabetes. This fact becomes more serious considering that the presence of multiple risk factors has a multiplicative and not just an additive effect. Heart disease occurs 2­3 decades earlier among diabetics and has a more aggressive course and a worse prognosis often resulting in death.


Both people with and without diabetes has some risk when it comes to heart disease. Some risk factors can’t be controlled such as age, gender and ge netic background). The other risk factors can be tackled with simple lifestyle changes. As many people with diabetes who experience a first heart attack, often die before getting to hospital, the prevention of heart disease becomes very important. It becomes very important to screen people with diabetes even before they have any heart related symptoms.We have to take preventive measures before the heart attack strikes us.Nowadays there is a new technology available which screens patients with diabetes and prediabetes for their heart risk in less than 7 minutes. This reliable technology is non -invasive and very cost effective and gives a comprehensive picture of not only heart risks but also other complications associated with diabetes.


The treatment methods for cardiovascular disease are similar irrespective of whether diabetes is present or not.However, specific issues related to diabetes include the difficulty of diagnosing `silent’ heart attacks, the need for the aggressive management of all risk factors, and the use of insulin therapy to achieve blood glucose control when a heart attack occurs. Also the disease is often more severe than a non-diabetic person. Sometimes the heart function reduces, a condition known as diabetic cardiomyopathy.Since there are many risk factors involved, the treatment and follow-up of heart disease in people with diabetes can be a complicated, time-consuming and expensive process. Hence the value of preventive measures cannot be overemphasized.


If action is not taken to stem the tide of type 2 diabetes, the prospects for world health are bleak. For this screening for prediabetes become more and more important as it is the stage when we can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications.

There is therefore a clear need for greater awareness of prediabetes, Diabetes and its deadly complications.Lifestyle modification including healthy eating habits, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation and sustained weight loss in the overweight can be of major benefit in preventing diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

On the national level, cardiovascular disease prevention in people with diabetes should be given number one priority.

Healthy heart choices for everyone everywhere“ is the slogan of the World Heart Day this year, being celebrated today, is more relevant for diabetics for prevention and control of heart diseases.

Source: TOI 29 Sept’2015