SRU seeks solutions to health problems

Sri Ramachandra University on Friday launched the second phase of the Purse-HIS study, which aims to find solutions to the state’s worst health problems.

The results of the first phase of the study, conducted by researchers from SRU and the department of science and technology, which were released in 2011, threw up disturbing figures.

More than 19 per cent of the urban population was found to be diabetic, 31 per cent had abnormal ECGs, 15 per cent had depression and 81 per cent Chennaiites were found to have abnormal body fat levels.

The study, which assessed 8,080 people from Chennai (urban), Kancheepuram (semi-urban) and Thiruvallur (rural), revealed that non-communicable diseases, including stroke, heart disease, renal disorders and stress-related mental disorders, were manifesting at a younger age in both sexes and even in rural areas.

“In phase II of the study, we will follow the 2,000-odd people who were found to be pre-diabetic three years ago.

They will be subject to lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise, to reverse the abnormal glucose metabolism and prevent them from becoming diabetic,” said Dr S. Thanikachalam, chief of cardiology, at the dedication of a public center for lifestyle modified diseases and their prevention at SRMC.

“We already have seen great improvement in the diabetics being treated with Siddha preparation Madhumegha choornam and we are trying to tweak the composition by including new herbs, to increase it’s efficacy. This new compound will undergo clinical trials and we hope to patent it,” added Dr Thanikachalam.

The researchers will also study the genomic pattern in pre-diabetic patients and assess the time taken for them to progress into full-fledged diabetes.

Viji Santhanam, chairman of Sundaram Finance, who has donated a fully-equipped vehicle to ferry both researchers and study subjects for surveillance, was also present at the launch.

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