A new set of global guidelines on managing diabetes that aim to replace those followed for over three decades, has stirred up a controversy within the medical community.
Medical practitioners here in India feel the guidelines which recommend relaxing blood sugar targets will, not only lead to serious complications in diabetics, but also confusion in treatment protocol, advising that these should be ignored for Indians.
There were over 72 million cases of diabetes in India in 2017, according to International Diabetes Federation. The controversial guidelines relate to relaxing the long-term blood sugar target, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), which through a blood test gives an estimate of a person’s blood sugar level average over the past few months.
Anoop Misra chairman of Delhi-based Fortis-C-DOC (Centre of Excellence For Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology) said, “In reality, Indian physicians continue to follow US-based guidelines, hence ACP guidelines may have substantial impact in India. If blood sugar control is loosened (as advised by ACP), more patients in India will suffer from complications, the burden of which is already high. We should ignore these, and stick to previous time-tested glycosylated hemoglobin limit of control of 7%.”
Others concur the guidelines cannot be standardized because of several differences in lifestyle, physiology and food habits.