August 1, 2011

INDIA: Diabetes takes hold of Bangalore's senior citizens

BANGALORE, Karnataka / Deccan Chronicle / Channels / August 1, 2011

Diabetes is the most common health problem among the state’s silver citizens, according to the findings of a three-year study of senior citizens in the State. Cardiac-related and nephrology problems follow. Dr Sunil Rao, general manager of the Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, who led the study, says emotional stress is a major trigger of diabetes.

“With the current fast-paced lifestyle and urbanisation, many senior citizens are compelled to lead lonely lives because their children have either settled abroad for professional reasons, or even if they are here, they don’t have the time to look into the small problems of their parents. This often leads to a lot of emotional stress, which is known to be a trigger for diabetes and cardiac problems.” he said. The early symptoms of these diseases are not identified early because there is no one to spot the problem and start treatment, he added.

Dr Rao said that while sedentary lifestyle and changes in dietary habits are known to be trigger factors for diabetes and cardiac complications, emotional stress that stems from loneliness and lack of family support adds to the problem. He believes this explains why arthritis and orthopaedic diseases, generally associated with old age, are less frequently seen in senior citizens, and instead psychosomatic diseases top the list of the most common diseases.

To emphasise the need for psychological support to the elderly, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital organised a parent-child walkathon, ‘Pledge for Health’ on Sunday.

Some 5,000 people took a pledge to ensure that the elderly lead a healthy life.

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