Woman Interrupted

Occurrence of high cholesterol, BP, diabetes and thyroid problems among women is multiplying at an alarming rate.

One in four women in urban India and every eighth woman in rural India has high cholesterol. Almost every second woman in urban India and every third woman in rural India is likely to have high blood pressure. Dr Hema Divakar, President of Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), sees these findings of a three-year-long countrywide study by All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) on nutrition and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in women above 35 years old as an indication of the emerging trend of disorders in women in the country.

She was in the city to participate in a national conference on gynae-endocrinology. Divakar said that among the emerging trends of population profiles and disorders in women in the country, the prevalence of obesity has increased from 10.6 per cent to 12.6 per cent. "While the problem of under-nutrition still exists in many parts of India, the additional burden of obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle and eating junk food food is alarming. There are several challenging tasks at hand with respect to women's healthcare, the pendulum swinging from malnutrition to obesity indicate the urgent need for prevention," she said.

Divakar pointed out that advancement of medical technology has resulting in early detection of gynaecology-related endocrine diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, thyroid problems, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity-related health problems among women.

She added that aiming to curb the trend, FOGSI ó the apex body for all obstetricians and gynaecologists in the country ó has launched nationwide initiatives focusing on interventional and educational methods. It is sensitising the gynaecologist and obstetrician community on the need for examining the gynaecology-related endocrine diseases. "We need to have standard operations procedures in government and private institutions; identify new treatment techniques; introduce the latest advanced treatment and technology; set up speciality clinics to treat women and equip gynaecologists to examine such cases properly. All these are being facilitated by FOGSI," said Dr Sanjay Gupte, former president of FOGSI.

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