According to a study conducted by the scientists of the nanoscience and water research unit of DST, resulted that there is a close link between toxic heavy metal used in fertilizers, observed that the symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among farmers. It is arrived at by comparing the number of people found to have the condition with the total number of people studied, and is usually expressed as a fraction, as a percentage, or as the number of cases per 10,000 or 100,000 people. The research was carried out in a village in Tamil Nadu on around 900 farming community by testing the urine samples.

The samples were analyzed at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH) Research Foundation, Coimbatore. Dr Pradeep Thalappil, Professor of Chemistry at IIT, Madras informed that around 82.5 percent  of the study population was involved in farming and high levels of toxic metals were detected in the synthetic fertilizers used in the study village. The prevalence of pre-diabetes, diabetes and atherosclerosis was 43.4 percent , 16.2 percent  and 10.3 percent , respectively.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin. Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease in which there is narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup on the artery walls.

“But urinary levels of metals such as arsenic, chromium, aluminium and zinc showed an association with diabetes, while arsenic and zinc showed an association with pre-diabetes and atherosclerosis,” Dr Thalappil further added.

“Interestingly, no association of traditional risk factors for all the three non-communicable disease conditions (pre-diabetes, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) such as body mass index, blood pressure and total cholesterol with disease conditions was observed,” said Thalappil.

Synthetic fertilizers used in farming can trigger diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, government scientists have found.

The phase one results of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-INDIAB (India diabetes) study have also shown that the prevalence of non communicable diseases is higher in both urban and rural areas of India compared to earlier studies.

A recent analysis of trends done by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi revealed an increase in diabetes prevalence among the rural population at a rate of 2.02 per 1,000 population per year.

The health ministry has been running screening programs in rural areas to get to the bottom of the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases in these areas.

 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi



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