Jaipur, October, 2020.
The latest findings of the India Diabetes Care Index (IDCI®) suggest that glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1c level did not deteriorate despite the lockdown, in fact it changed from 8.50% to 8.32% in April to June 2020 in Jaipur than the previous quarter. IDCI® is a part of the ‘Impact India: 1000-Day Challenge’ programme by Novo Nordisk India and serves as a guiding tool for the status of diabetes care across multiple cities, states, and the country as a whole.
The HbA1C value gives an idea about the average blood glucose level over three months in an individual and is one of the best-recommended indicators of long-term blood glucose control. Approximately 300 people with an average age of 56 years were part of the assessment in Jaipur, out of which 39% were male, and 61% were female. Furthermore, the average postprandial glucose level in the quarter was 265 mg/dl, and the average fasting glucose level was 170 mg/dl.
Speaking about the change in HbA1c level in Jaipur, Dr Ajay Shah, Senior Endocrinologist from Jaipur, said, “The latest IDCI finding is positive and it signifies that people with diabetes are very conscious about managing the disease within the confines of their homes as social distancing restrictions and staying at home have been continuously encouraged. I hope that this trend continues despite the pandemic and the process of unlocking taking place.”
The change in HbA1c level is a sign of relief as people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. It has been shown older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like hypertension, heart disease and pulmonary disorders and obesity-related conditions are also at a higher risk of experiencing severe complications due to COVID-19.
People with diabetes should maintain an adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring blood glucose at home. Any warning signs like difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell etc. should not be ignored and medical attention should be sought immediately.
At present, more than 77 million people are living with diabetes in India. The Government of India has made provisions forall known/ diagnosed people with diabetes to receive a regular supply of medicines for up to three months through ASHAs or SHCs on prescription.Talking about the IDCI programme, Dr Anil Shinde, Trustee, Novo Nordisk Education Foundation said, “The quarterly data generated through IDCI®as a part of the IMPACT India programme has helped us identify the trend in HbA1c level across major cities in the country. We have observed that people with diabetes in cities like Kolkata, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Goa and Guwahati have been able to maintain low glycohemoglobin level in the current scenario by following a strict regimen involving a healthy diet and regular exercising. An optimum practice of diabetes management at home is recommended right now as our medical systems are inundated with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The ‘Impact India: 1000-Day Challenge’ programme was launched in November 2018 to address the issue of sub-optimally controlled diabetes in India. The programme aims to reduce the national average of HbA1c by 1%, which can help decrease the risk of diabetes-related complications. Based on big data analytics, iDCI® has been providing a real-time view of the average HbA1c in India across select cities. Under the Impact India programme, digital platforms are being leveraged to partner with healthcare practitioners (doctors and paramedics) to evolve and implement an approach to diabetes care appropriate for India. iDCI® is a dynamic tool that not only tracks the status of diabetes care but also helps to increase awareness, motivate and sensitise the healthcare professionals (HCPs) and society. The IMPACT India programme will continue its three-pronged approach over the next one year through interactions with healthcare practitioners (HCPs), societal/patient engagement and monitoring.