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NCDs: A 47 Trillion Dollar Problem We Cant Ignore


Health & Wellness  (tags: americans, culture, ethics, disease, death, illness, medicine, prevention, protection, research, safety, risks, society, warning )

JL
- 617 days ago - indiaspora.org
NCDs Matter to all Indian Americans In India, the country of our origin, 20% of the population has at least 1 chronic disease, and 10% suffer from 2 or more. Some 60 million Indians live with diabetes and 1 million die from it each year.



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JL A. (274)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 2:32 pm
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March 18, 2013
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NCDs: A 47 Trillion Dollar Problem We Cant Ignore

By Nalini Saligram, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Arogya World

As Indian Americans, we have a lot to be proud of in our communities and in the changes underway in India. Today, to protect our families and this remarkable progress, we must address one of the greatest health and development challenges of the century, the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung diseases, have thus far escaped our attention and collective action.



The Rising Threat of NCDs



NCDs kill 2 out of 3 people today – six times as many as from HIV, TB and Malaria combined, making them the greatest threat to health and development that you’ve never heard of. It’s a mistake to consider these diseases of affluence – 80% of the deaths are in developing countries, and NCDs hit the poorest of the poor the hardest. It’s true that India and other developing countries have raised standards of living and made great strides against many infectious diseases, but there is little time to celebrate: the recent Global Burden of Disease report from the World Health Organization established that while infectious disease is decreasing, the prevalence of NCDs is increasing rapidly around the world.

It is to address this epidemic that I started a non-profit, Arogya World, a couple of years ago. We take a proactive approach to preventing NCDs and engage with individuals and health policy leaders alike on the issue. Our name is aligned with our mission – the word Arogya in Sanskrit means to live a life without disease.



NCDs Matter to all Indian Americans

In India, the country of our origin, 20% of the population has at least 1 chronic disease, and 10% suffer from 2 or more.

Some 60 million Indians live with diabetes and 1 million die from it each year.
Indians get diabetes at least 10 years earlier than Americans, often in their 30s and 40s rather than in their 50s or 60s. We likely have a greater pre-disposition to diabetes than other Americans.
In the US, where we live, the diabetes figures are no less alarming. Some 26 million Americans have diabetes – nearly 1 in 10. More than one-third of Americans are obese and by 2030 half of us will be.



The combination of our genetic profile and Western lifestyle means that the risk for diabetes is alarmingly high for Indian Americans – it is for us a double whammy.



Why are Indians more prone to diabetes?

Combine the presumed genetic predisposition with today’s sedentary lifestyles and love of fast food and you have big risk factors.
New research also suggests that low birth weight can lead to diabetes later in life. Malnourished mothers in India often have low birth weight babies, which in turn may increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease when the child grows up.
And indeed even something as seemingly innocuous as mealtimes can have an influence. A recent study showed that eating dinner late in the evening can increase the risk of diabetes. And we know that among Indians serving dinner at 10 pm is not considered late!



There is Hope in Prevention

Diabetes is preventable. We don’t need to wait for a new technology or vaccine. There is compelling proof from landmark clinical studies that moderate exercise and a healthy diet can prevent diabetes and keep it at bay for at least 10 years. According to the World Health Organization 80% diabetes, 80% heart disease and 40% cancers can be prevented by avoiding tobacco, increasing physical activity and eating healthy foods.



Unfortunately, diabetes is so commonplace we are lulled into inaction. The hard truth is that diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness, and leads to heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and even amputations. The healthcare costs are staggering. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked NCDs as one of the greatest risks to global well-being – similar in magnitude to the fiscal crises we read so much about. WEF projects a cumulative loss of $47 trillion to global GDP by the year 2030 from NCDs. Staggering, to say the least. Poor families in India, for example, may spend 25% of their total income on diabetes care for one adult.



Prevention through lifestyle changes is at the core of Arogya World’s work. In India, we are educating and empowering housewives and farmers, working adults and school children to take small steps towards preventing diabetes by leading healthier lives. Our flagship program, called mDiabetes, is a Clinton Global Initiative commitment. In partnership with Nokia, we have reached over 1 million people in India with diabetes prevention text messages. See www.arogyaworld.org, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook. This is a big year for us, and we invite you to watch how our small but “mighty” organization is reaching more people and having a greater impact than ever before.
 

Tim C. (2039)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 3:18 pm
tks
 

JL A. (274)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 4:09 pm
You are welcome Tim
 

Angelika R. (144)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 8:45 pm
Alarming numbers there.
"Some 60 million Indians live with diabetes and 1 million die from it each year.
Indians get diabetes at least 10 years earlier than Americans, often in their 30s and 40s rather than in their 50s or 60s. We likely have a greater pre-disposition to diabetes than other Americans."

I wonder why that is. and gee, I better stop late dinners myself !
 

JL A. (274)
Wednesday March 20, 2013, 9:09 pm
Thanks for highlighting some information relevant to everyone Angelika! You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.
 

Robert O. (12)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 1:03 am
Thanks JL.
 

Lynn D. (0)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 2:46 am
Thanks.
 

Giana Peranio-Paz (386)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 3:28 am
Noted. Thanks JL.
 

Joseph Miller (23)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 5:14 am
noted thank you so much
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 8:26 am
So many people living with these diseases Hard to believe in this day and age thanks then to Arogya for trying to help and educate the people in India
I too have quite a few late night dinners did not know it could cause problems You learn something everyday

noted thanks
 

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 9:18 am
Thank you for bringing this to our attention! It is shocking! Thank you JL! Noted
 

Michael Kirkby (86)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 9:58 am
Noted
 

Birgit W. (151)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 4:22 pm
Noted
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 4:30 pm
You are welcome Robert, Lynn, Giana, Joseph, Carol and Bryna.
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.
 

Sandra Patterson (61)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 7:37 pm
noted.thank you
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday March 21, 2013, 9:32 pm
You are welcome Sandra
 

june t. (66)
Friday March 22, 2013, 12:23 am
eating late may lead to diabetes? never heard that one before. thanks for the warning.
 

Ro H. (0)
Friday March 22, 2013, 6:53 am
ty
 

JL A. (274)
Friday March 22, 2013, 8:58 am
You are welcome Ro.
You cannot currently send a star to june because you have done so within the last day
 

Winn Adams (199)
Friday March 22, 2013, 2:03 pm
Thanks
 

JL A. (274)
Friday March 22, 2013, 2:37 pm
You are welcome Winn
 

Allan Yorkowitz (447)
Friday March 22, 2013, 3:40 pm
The tragedy of diabetes in India is generations old. Simply saying "send insulin!" is not so simple. Insulin needs to be refrigerated, which is not an Indian luxury.
What these "Christian" organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army. even the pathetic UN need to do is establish insulin stations across India. There people need a place to get their injections, and their blood levels checked every day of their lives - for some several times a day.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday March 22, 2013, 4:00 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Allan because you have done so within the last day.
 

Shirley B. (5)
Friday March 22, 2013, 4:07 pm
There is some wisdom then, in the saying "Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a pauper. I wish them well. Thanks JL for the post, I am not recieving my Care2 news emails and have to use an old email link to newly submitted stories.to try to catch up. Hope support can fix the issue.
 

Birgit W. (151)
Friday March 22, 2013, 7:02 pm
Thanks
 

JL A. (274)
Friday March 22, 2013, 8:13 pm
You are welcome Birgit
 

paul m. (93)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 6:23 am

Noted..
 
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