An event tilted ‘Living healthy till 100 with diabetes is possible’ was organised commemorating a historic moment on the occasion of the recently published research paper by India’s foremost Centre of Excellence in diabetes care, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre. Nonagenarian champions who have successfully fought diabetes were felicitated and shared their inspiring journey on how they successfully overcame the challenges related to Diabetes. Standing tall among the inspiring role models wasDr. S.V.Chittibabu, former Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University and Annamalai University (Chidamabaram),whose video testimony recounting his great efforts in managing and overcoming diabetes for around 6 decades, left the audience spellbound. Some of the nonagenarians who were present at the event also elucidated their success stories on diabetes management.These inspiring messages give hope to millions of patients with diabetes that they can indeed live healthy and strong till 100 and will help induce a great sense of confidence in them.
The event was based on the recent research paper titled “Clinical profile of elderly patients (over 90 years) with type 2 diabetes seen at a diabetes centre in South India” published in the journal Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. The paper is a joint effort by the clinical care team at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre and the Clinical Epidemiology team ofMadras Diabetes Research Foundation.
Commenting on this historic occasion Dr.V. Mohan, Chairman and Chief Diabetologist of Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Director & Chief of Diabetes Research – Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, said, ‘Till a few years ago, nobody would have believed that a person with diabetes can live up to 100 years of age.We have been taught as medical students and there is evidence in the literature to show that the lifespan of people with diabetes is reduced drastically. With the current lifespan being 67 years for males and 69 years for females in India, one would imagine that survival beyond 60 to 70 years of age would be very difficult for Indians with diabetes. Over time, thanks to better treatment and better follow up, we have begun to see patients living longer. We recently published the largest series of patients with diabetes in the world (more than 325 in number) who have had diabetes for at least 25 to 30 years and yet lived beyond their 90th birthday. Among the list, we also found that many have crossed 95 years of age and one patient recently turned 100.Many of these patients have had diabetes for more than 50 to 60 years. This shows that today, the lifespan of a person need not be affected at all just because he or she has diabetes, and that all people with diabetes should now strive to live long and healthy lives despite their condition. All that is needed is some discipline, lifestyle modifications and regular check-ups. Infact I would go as far as to say that people with diabetes can live longer than people without diabetes if they look after themselves’.
It was an emotional moment filled with inspiring tales on overcoming the fear linked with diabetes and its related complications. Breaking the traditional shibboleths of thought, this study and event celebrated the fact that better awareness, early diagnosis and treatment, regular check-ups and a little discipline can help with diabetes live longer with diabetes without associated health complications. Studies have shown that the first 10 to 15 years after detection of diabetes are the most important. If you control your diabetes well during the first 10 to 15 years, you can almost be assured that in your lifetime, it will not trouble you with its dreaded complications.