This death isn`t sweet

Over 250 medical experts recently met at a 2-day international symposium on diabetes, held in Kathmandu in Nepal. The country has a high incidence of people suffering from this crippling malady. The country has 9.5 per cent of all patients admitted to medical units suffering from diabetes. Although field studies are yet to be conducted, a conservative estimate puts 5 to 10 per cent of the urban and 1.5 per cent of the rural population as suffering from diabetes, according to Gopal P Acharya, an expert at the symposium.

Organised by the Department of Internal Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (tuth) and the Institute of Medicine, in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the symposium was an effort to gauge the alarming trend of increasing diabetes in Asia in particular.

"In the world today there are over 6 million people suffering from insulin depended** and 60 million from non-depended diabetes, but the figures are expected to reach 100 million by ad 2000," said Acharya, chief of the Department of Internal Medicine, TUTH.

Besides physical factors like unhealthy lifestyles, loads of saturated fats in the diet, reduced physical activity and increasing obesity, psychological factors like social, cultural and economic stress could also increase the chances of contracting the crippling "sugar disease".