In the past 10 years, she has meticulously screened 28 states, two union territories and Delhi. Her largest survey cover 1,24,000 participants – possibly the largest such survey in the world.
What would you expect from the granddaughter of the ‘Father of Diabetology’ M Viswanathan and the daughter of Dr V Mohan and Dr Rema Mohan, who are icons of diabetes treatment, who established the largest and the most trusted chain of Diabetes Speciality Centres in the world?
Implementation of a plan to screen the whole of India for diabetes, a deep dive into the real cause of its rise among Indians and a global plan to stem the development of the disease, starting from the young.
Dr RM Anjana, MD, PhD, the managing director of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, which has a base of 8.3 lakh patients in 32 cities and 50 centres, started this nationwide survey with support from the Indian Council for Medical Research.
In the past 10 years, she has meticulously screened 28 states, two union territories and Delhi. Her largest survey cover 1,24,000 participants – possibly the largest such survey in the world. With an astounding number of people developing diabetes in India, Dr Anjana has also been measuring their diet and exercise levels. She has found that over 60 per cent of women are inactive, (7 per cent more when compared to men). Nearly 90 per cent of women perform no leisure time physical activity at all – pushing them towards lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
Women in India are discouraged from playing active physical sports and have limited access to any fitness activities due to social taboos. A woman cannot go outside the house after dark, cannot play field sports, cannot join health clubs and does not have time to spend on her wellbeing. Even her clothes are an inhibitory factor. This is a nationwide problem stemming from our cultural inhibitions. With the number of individuals affected by diabetes rising, it is necessary to devise a socially acceptable method to make women adopt a healthier lifestyle. Dr Anjana and choreographer Santhosh have combined high intensity interval training, dance moves and desi beats of popular Bollywood tunes to create THANDAV – an exercise in dance form. This can be done even for a short duration to burn maximum calories and also at home. No special clothes or equipment are needed. It can be a group activity and so it is easily accepted by youth too.
Dr Anjana’s and Dr V Mohan’s dream of checking the increase of the number of patients with diabetes in India through mass sensitization is now slowly turning to reality. Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities team plans to reach masses, school by school, colony by colony, through educational institutions to prevent childhood obesity and early onset of diabetes. This endeavour will also help decrease polycystic ovary disease and other complications that obesity brings to women. Dr Anjana strongly believes and has ample evidence that reversal of diabetes is possible in people with pre-diabetes and early diabetes if such fitness measures, dietary regimen and precision diabetes management are adopted. Dr Anjana has also spearheaded, along with her team of scientists, the development of special dietary products for people with diabetes through food and nutrition research. 360 degree care for patients with diabetes with a strong drive towards prevention of complications has been the core value of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and it will continue to remain so.
An advocate of precision diabetes – right management for the right person at the right time through accurate diagnosis, Dr Anjana has been working closely in multinational collaborative research, championing the ways and means to keep the disease from affecting body organs