Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. What you can do? The Life Circle approach

Each year 7 million people develop diabetes and the most dramatic increases in type 2 diabetes have occurred in populations where there have been rapid and major changes in lifestyle, like India, demonstrating the important role played by lifestyle factors and the potential for reversing the global epidemic.
A person with type 2 diabetes is 2 – 4 times more likely to get cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 80% of people with diabetes will die from it. Premature mortality caused by diabetes results in an estimated 12 to 14 years of life lost.
India leads the global top ten in terms of the highest number of people with diabetes with a current figure of 40.9 million, followed by China with 39.8 million. Behind them come USA; Russia; Germany; Japan; Pakistan; Brazil; Mexico and Egypt. Developing countries account for seven of the world’s top ten.

A complex interplay of genetic, social and environmental factors is driving the global explosion in type 2 diabetes. For low and middle-income countries, economic advancement can lead to alterations to the living environment that result in changes in diet and physical activity within a generation or two. Consequently, people can develop diabetes despite relatively low gains in weight. In the developed world, diabetes is most common among the poorest communities. Either way, wherever poverty and lack of sanitation drive families to low cost-per-calorie foods and packaged drinks, type 2 diabetes thrives.

Diabetes is deadly. It accounts for 3.8 million deaths per year, similar in magnitude to HIV/AIDS. Once thought of as a disease of the elderly, diabetes has shifted down a generation to affect people of working age, particularly in developing countries.

The UN recognition of Diabetes follows the passing of Resolution 61/225, the World Diabetes Day Resolution, in December 2006. The landmark resolution was the first goal of an ambitious campaign led by the IDF which recognizes diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with major complications that pose severe risks for families and countries throughout the world. The UN has thrown its support behind it and encourages countries to act now. The Resolution can be viewed here .

People forming blue circle on World Diabetes day

Kathmandu Declaration and Life Circle approach

To mark World Diabetes Day 2008 on 14 November, the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has announced the development of a landmark declaration. The “Kathmandu Declaration” is an action plan, providing guidelines and a framework for the prevention and care of diabetes through the pioneering concept of the “life circle”, which is in keeping with the blue circle from the Unite for Diabetes logo. The life circle approach concentrates on the prevention of type 2 diabetes from preconception to adulthood, highlighting the risk factors and prevention strategies at each stage in life through behavioral and environmental changes. The salient features of the approach are the following.

Prevention before bearing your child [Pre Conception Period]
You can try to prevent you and your yet to be born children getting Type 2 Diabetes.
You can do this by
1. Maintaining a BMI of less than 23 [for Indians and other South Asians; less than 25 for Caucasians]
and a waist circumference of less than 90 for males and less than 80cm for females.

[Waist circumference should be measured at the mid point between the horizontal lines through the bottom of ribs and top of pelvis]

2.Regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.[more if you need to loose weight]
3. Check your blood sugar to rule out Diabetes or pre-diabetes before becoming pregnant
4.Good dietary habits which includes increased amount of vegetables and fresh fruits and minimum high calorie foods.

Prevention of type 2 Diabetes in childhood and adolescence
Make sure that your child is not over weight.Actively discourage sedentary habits and over eating.Do your workouts with your kids if possible.Too much stress on studies will make your child highly paid but an unhealthy professional.
Prevention of type 2 Diabetes in adulthood
To find out your risk for type 2 diabetes, check each item that applies to you.
1. My BMI is more than 23 or my waste circumference is more than 90cm[males] or 80cms[females]
2. I have a parent, brother/ sister Uncles/Aunts, Cousins with diabetes.
3. I am from South Asia.
4. I have had gestational diabetes, or I gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 3.5 kilograms.
5. My blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or I have been told at least once that my blood pressure is more than normal.
6. My cholesterol levels are not normal.

My HDL cholesterol—“good” cholesterol—is below 35 mg/dL, or

7. my triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL.
8.I am fairly inactive. I exercise fewer than three times a week.
9.I have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS—women only.
10.On previous testing, I had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) i.e blood sugar 2 hour after meal between 140 and 199mg or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), i.e fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125mg
11.I have other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as acanthosis nigricans.

12.I have a history of Coronary heart disease or Stroke.

The more items you checked, the higher your risk.

How can I reduce my risk?
You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes. Exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing a little weight can help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels also helps you stay healthy.
If you are overweight
Then take these steps:
Reach and maintain a reasonable body weight.
Make wise food choices most of the time.
Be physically active every day.

If you are fairly inactive
Then take this step:
Be physically active every day.

If your blood pressure is too high
Then take these steps:
Reach and maintain a reasonable body weight.
Make wise food choices most of the time.
Reduce your intake of sodium and alcohol.
Be physically active every day.
Talk with your doctor about whether you need medicine to control your blood pressure.
If your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high
Then take these steps:
Make wise food choices most of the time.
Be physically active every day.
Talk with your doctor about whether you need medicine to control your cholesterol levels.
Making Changes to Lower My Risk
Making big changes in your life is hard, especially if you are faced with more than one change. You can make it easier by taking these steps:
Make a plan to change behavior.
Decide exactly what you will do and when you will do it.
Plan what you need to get ready.
Think about what might prevent you from reaching your goals.
Find family and friends who will support and encourage you.
Decide how you will reward yourself when you do what you have planned.
Your doctor, a dietitian, or a counselor can help you make a plan. Consider making changes to lower your risk of diabetes.
Reach and Maintain a Reasonable Body Weight
Your weight affects your health in many ways. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. Excess body weight can also cause high blood pressure.
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body weight relative to height. You can use BMI to see whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. Use the Body Mass Index Table to find your BMI.
Find your height in the left-hand column.
Move across in the same row to the number closest to your weight.
The number at the top of that column is your BMI. Check the word above your BMI to see whether you are normal weight, overweight, or obese.

If you are overweight or obese, choose sensible ways to get in shape.
Avoid crash diets. Instead, eat less of the foods you usually have. Limit the amount of fat you eat.
Increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
Set a reasonable weight-loss goal, such as losing 1-2 kilograms a month. Aim for a long-term goal of losing 5 to 7 percent of your total body weight.

Make Wise Food Choices Most of the Time
What you eat has a big impact on your health. By making wise food choices, you can help control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Take a look at the serving sizes of the foods you eat. Reduce serving sizes of main courses such as meat, desserts, and foods high in fat. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.
Limit your fat intake to about 20-25 percent of your total calories. For example, if your food choices add up to about 2,000 calories a day, try to eat no more than 56 grams of fat. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you figure out how much fat to have. You can also check food labels for fat content.
Limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg—about 1 teaspoon of salt—each day.
Talk with your doctor about whether you may drink alcoholic beverages. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake.
You may also wish to reduce the number of calories you have each day. Your doctor or dietitian can help you with a meal plan that emphasizes weight loss.
Keep a food and exercise log. Write down what you eat, how much you exercise—anything that helps keep you on track.
When you meet your goal, reward yourself with a nonfood item or activity, like watching a movie.
Compiled and edited from IDF and NIH websites. A big thanks to Dr C.S.Yagnik,Pune for his inputs.
The series of meetings leading to the Kathmandu declaration is supported by an educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme.


SeemantPuri said...

Well, so prevention has to take place in the womb or even before that! This should be given a priority all over the world because this is a strategically important concept. And we thought that preventive action would be required when we reached a certain age! Thanks for the insights.

Charakan said...

SeemantPuri,welcome to this blog.Thank you for the comment.Yes preventive strategies are very important.Life Circle approach is going to accepted by International Diabetes Federation as a major preventive strategy where by we can start intervening very early,even before the child is conceived in womb.

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