Relevance to Arsenicosis in Diabetes Mellitus- A Study among arsenic-affected population in Purbasthali block of Burdwan District, West Bengal

GoswamiSukla, Sanyal, P.K., DattaArunima, Kumar Kamakhya and Bandyopadhyay Arup

Background: Chronic arsenic exposure due to natural contamination of ground water used for drinking purposes may lead to various health problems. In our study we have endeavoured to find out whether diabetes mellitus could be one effect of chronic arsenicosis.

Material and methods: Studies were performed in arsenic affected Purbasthali block of Burdwan district in West Bengal. Basic anthropometry along with fasting blood sugar (FBS) and Glycated HbA1c were measured in previously proven cases of arsenicosis. Values were compared with those of unaffected persons in other blocks of the same district.

Results: The results show that the mean values of both FBS and HbA1c were higher in the arsenic affected patients than the control population, but the difference was statistically significant only in case of FBS when a one tailed student’s t test was applied. The percentage of diabetic and prediabetic patients were also higher in the arsenicosis population than the controls.

Conclusion: It  can be concluded that within the limits of our study arsenicosis does induce diabetes mellitus to some extent. This finding, though not studied in great detail but does conform to early works in Taiwan, Bangladesh etc.

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