3.1% Women In J&K Highly Diabetic: NFHS Survey


Blood Sugar Level Found ‘Very High’ In Urban Areas Than Rural

Srinagar- As the adverse condition of health and nutrition in J&K continues to haunt people, the erstwhile state has yet again hit a major demographic milestone as 8.3 percent of population is found to be diabetic with more women suffering from “very high” blood sugar level than men.

These figures were placed according to the findings of phase two of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

The Government of India on November 24 released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India including J&K, clubbed under phase two of the 2019-21 NFHS-5.

The National Family Health Survey has revealed that 8.35 percent of the population in Jammu and Kashmir is affected with diabetes which is relatively much higher than several other states in India. As per NFHS, 3.1 percent of women are suffering with “Very High” blood sugar level than men whose percentage was found to be 2.7 percent.

Several of J&K’s nutritional indicators have worsened since the fourth round of the NFHS, which was held in 2015-16. But, in terms of diabetes, the erstwhile state has hit a worrying milestone as the percentage of people suffering from different types of diabetes is rapidly growing, as per NFHS.

Another report has also flagged the rising cases of diabetes in the valley. The report by the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar’s Department of Community Medicine suggests that one out of every ten residents of Srinagar aged over 20 years has diabetes. The study also projects that 22 percent of the Srinagar population suffers from impaired fasting glucose.

Several other independent studies conducted in J&K have also revealed that most of the patients are affected by Diabetes Mellitus Type-2, which is slowly making its inroads in small towns and rural areas and possibly linked with the changing dietary pattern among the major chunk of population in the past two decades.

As per the NFHS, the diabetic patients who are suffering from high or very high blood sugar levels in J&K were found to be more in urban J&K where the percentage stood at 8.65 percent compared to rural J&K where the percentage was recorded at 8.3 percent.
In terms of individual data on “High Sugar level” among men and women in J&K, the report has revealed that 4.2 percent of women and 4.3 percent of men have been suffering from high sugar levels. For both genders, the rate was higher in rural J&K than urban areas.

“The number of diabetic patients (both men and women) in terms of “very high” blood sugar level was found to be higher in urban J&K (3.15 percent) than rural J&K (2.85).

As per World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease whereby the body experiences an increased blood glucose level, a condition medically termed as Hyperglycemia. This defect comes to light when Pancreas either do not produce enough insulin or when the body can’t effectively use insulin that it produces.

It is pertinent to mention here that the NFHS-5 fieldwork for Jammu & Kashmir was conducted from July 1, 2019 to January 30, 2020 and the Information was gathered from 18,086 households, 23,037 women, and 3,087 men.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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