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Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Researchers have identified that districts in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have the maximum prevalence for diabetes among women.

The researchers sourced data from the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) as it provides district-level health indicators for women.

Factors at play

  • A skewed gender ratio as well unequal access to medical care has led to the disease being under-reported in women.
  • The authors of the research paper also point to the higher levels of diabetes in the southern and eastern parts of India as being linked to diets of “rice-meat-and-fish” and a higher intake of “sweets and snacks” that were rich in trans-fats (These however weren’t explanatory).
  • Diabetes-related mortality is higher among women in India.

National Family Health Survey

  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
  • Three rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93.
  • The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anaemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services.

The Aims of NFHS are:

  1. to provide essential data on health and family welfare needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for policy and programme purposes
  2. to provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.

What is Diabetes?

  • Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood to cells to be stored or used for energy.
  • With diabetes, body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.
  • Untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can damage nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs.

Different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes: It is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack. About 10 percent of people with diabetes have this type.
  • Type 2 diabetes: It occurs when body becomes resistant to insulin, and sugar builds up in your blood. It stems from a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors.
  • Pre-diabetes: It occurs when blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes: It is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.
  • Diabetes affects the five major organs namely, Kidney, Heart, Blood vessels, Nervous System, and Eyes (retina).

-Source: Hindustan Times

November 2023