Beat Prediabetes Initiative for India launched by the International Diabetes Federation South East Asia

Mumbai, August 13: In a big step towards scaling up the fight against diabetes, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), South East Asia, launched the Beat Prediabetes initiative for India in Mumbai on Friday on the eve of 75 years of Indian independence.

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR–INDIAB), one of the largest community-based epidemiological studies encompassing 15 Indian states, the overall prevalence of prediabetes is 10.3%. It can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Recent evidence suggests that eye, kidney, and nerve complications may also occur at the pre-diabetic stage. Prediabetes is also a severe health hazard because it is an asymptomatic condition; hence, most people do not realise they have it.

Preventing prediabetes is the key to controlling Type 2 diabetes, which is one of the leading causes of death globally. In India, almost 7.7crore people have been formally diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and experts say it can become the next pandemic if not controlled.

To bring forth the need for greater awareness of its management and a call for early action, Dr Shashank Joshi, Chair of IDF South East Asia, said,  “Acting Early at Prediabetes or “early Diabetes” is important to win the war against type 2 diabetes.  With Lifestyle modification and approved medications in high-risk individuals, Prediabetes provides an opportunity to prevent the progression or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

The logo of prediabetes was unveiled at the event by Dr Joshi in the presence of Prof Andrew Boulton, President, IDF and the Presidents of Diabetes Organisations in India;  Prof Vasanth Kumar, President RSSDI, Prof Anil Bhoraskar, President, Diabetes Association of India, Dr Banshi Saboo of Diabetes India and Dr A K Das of Indian Academy of Diabetes.  The symbolic communication of the logo is that prediabetes provides a window of opportunity for preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 Diabetes and its complications.

“The launch of the logo is to make more people aware of prediabetes and to start looking at it as a preventable condition. We are confident that the launch of the initiative will lead to greater awareness about prediabetes and help more people successfully reverse it. We also call upon the medical fraternity to join hands with us in the fight to beat diabetes by beating prediabetes,” said Prof. Andrew Boulton, President of IDF.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The IDF South-East Asia (SEA) Region comprises seven countries, viz. India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bhutan and the Maldives and represents 11 diabetes organizations. It is estimated that 90 million adults in the age group of 20 to 79 are living with diabetes in South East Asia. 46 million adults living with diabetes in IDF SEA Region are undiagnosed, while 47 million adults have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), which places them at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

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