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Awareness and knowledge of diabetes in Chennai--the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study [CURES-9]

Lookup NU author(s): Danny Mohan, Professor Nigel Unwin


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BACKGROUND AND AIM: There are virtually no epidemiological studies from India assessing the level of awareness of diabetes in a whole population. The aim of the present study was to assess the awareness of diabetes in an urban south Indian population in Chennai. METHODS: The Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES) is an ongoing population based study conducted using a systematic sampling method on a representative population (aged > or = 20 years - 26001 individuals) of Chennai [formerly Madras], the largest city in Southern India. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information related to demography, education and medical history. The questionnaire included five questions on diabetes awareness. RESULTS: Of the total 26,001 individuals, only 75.5% (19642/26001) of the whole population reported that they knew about a condition called diabetes or conversely nearly 25% of the Chennai population was unaware of a condition called diabetes. 60.2% (15656/26001) of all participants and 76.7% (1173/1529) of the self reported diabetic subjects knew that the prevalence of diabetes was increasing in India. Only 22.2% (5764/ 26001) of the whole population and 41.0% (627/1529) of the known diabetic subjects were aware that diabetes could be prevented. Knowledge of the role of obesity and physical inactivity in producing diabetes was very low, with only 11.9% (3083/26001) of study subjects reporting these as risk factors for diabetes. Only 19.0% (4951/26001) of whole population knew that diabetes could cause complications. Even among the self reported diabetic subjects, only 40.6% (621/1529) were aware that diabetes could produce some complications. CONCLUSION: Awareness and knowledge regarding diabetes is still grossly inadequate in India. Massive diabetes education programmes are urgently needed both in urban and rural India.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mohan D, Raj D, Shanthirani CS, Datta M, Unwin NC, Kapur A, Mohan V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Association of Physicians of India

Year: 2005

Volume: 53

Pages: 283-287

ISSN (print): 0004-5772

Publisher: Association of Physicians of India

Notes: Journal Article