This workplace data reveals alarming pre-diabetes and diabetes rates in India. It further underscores the importance of early intervention and the need for preventive healthcare to combat the rising diabetes crisis in the country.
MediBuddy, India's digital healthcare platform, has released critical workplace data, revealing pre-diabetes affects a staggering 32.5% of the population. In comparison, diabetes prevalence stands at 11.31%, emphasising the significance of timely intervention in reducing diabetes incidence later in life, as pre-diabetes can typically be detected nearly a decade earlier.
The number showed the importance of early diagnosis and diabetes management. The data also exposes a stark gender disparity, with approximately 13.7% of diabetes patients being male, while only 5.3% are female.
India is home to one in seven of all adults living with diabetes worldwide. Access to high-quality healthcare via telemedicine can significantly promote preventive care and further mitigate health risks, especially in developing countries grappling with an imbalanced doctor-to-patient ratio.
Dr Gowri Kulkarni, head of Medical Operations at MediBuddy, underscores the importance of preventive medicine, saying, "Our data underscores the profound impact of preventive healthcare in curbing healthcare costs and improving patients' longevity and quality of life. At MediBuddy, we advocate for preventive healthcare as a cornerstone of public health. Our industry must shift from a reactive approach to a more proactive and primary care-centered model, whether delivered at home or in the workplace."
Examining the age statistics, the data reveals that the average age of individuals diagnosed with diabetes was over 50 years, notably higher than that of pre-diabetic patients, who fell in the age range of 20 to 40 years.
According to MediBuddy, most of these patients underwent routine health check-ups with the startup, where they received their initial diagnosis of either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Many of these patients sought continued care from MediBuddy following their initial diagnosis.
After the initial diagnosis, approximately 40% of those with diabetes and 25% with pre-diabetes chose to maintain ongoing engagement with MediBuddy.
The startup states that over 7-8 months, MediBuddy's comprehensive approach, encompassing medication, dietary modifications, and exercise, yielded remarkable improvements, including a 1.8% reduction in HbA1c levels and a 1 kg/m² decrease in BMI.
In cases involving substantial comorbidities, diabetes-related complications, or unstable diabetes, patients were educated about the necessity of regular physical follow-ups, which they received from network doctors.
The increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases severely threatens the quality of life and strains the healthcare ecosystem. MediBuddy's data serves as a wake-up call for the urgency of addressing pre-diabetes and diabetes in India and highlights the critical role that digital healthcare platforms can play in early detection, management, and prevention of these conditions.
Dr Preeti Kumar Goyal, vice president of Medical Services at MediBuddy vHealth, highlights a notable trend, saying, "One of the most striking trends observed over the years is the reduction in the age at which pre-diabetes is diagnosed. This highlights that early detection and management of pre-diabetes can effectively prevent its progression to diabetes. Similarly, early detection and proactive management of diabetes can help lower blood sugar levels, reduce the need for medications, and prevent or delay the onset of complications. Our in-house team of doctors and clinical dietitians are readily available to assist patients in adhering to treatment plans and guiding them on ways to prevent and control diabetes."