Evaluation of Epidemiological Problem-Diabetes

Background and Significance

Diabetes is a significant health challenge that has attracted epidemic alerts all over the world. Diabetes is one of the cardiovascular diseases that have collectively claimed the lives of an estimated 18 million patients per annum globally and has no cure yet. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention score card defines diabetes as a collective term for all diseases that are caused due to high blood glucose and results from the failure of the body to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. An individual that has diabetes has two impairments that lead to this condition on their body system by being unable to produce enough insulin to cater for their blood glucose balance needs or being incapable of using their insulin through impairments in the immune and nervous systems.  The scorecard further reveals the lethality of this condition such that the risk of death of a diabetes patient is double that of diabetes- free individual.  Apart from the risk of diabetes itself, it has also implications on the occurrence of other cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Diabetes comes with other complications such as renal failure, loss of vision and amputation of the limbs. These conditions increase more financial implication on the individual. Diabetes occurs in two forms including; Type I diabetes that results from impaired ability to produce insulin; type II diabetes that results from impaired and inadequate insulin activity; and finally gestational diabetes that results from the complications in blood glucose regulation during pregnancy. Of all the three types, the type diabetes has a lower occurrence among world populations. About 67 percent of diabetic adults in the United States also have incidences of high blood pressure. In comparison to a global prevalence rate of 8.0 percent in 2007, the International Diabetes Federation estimates an increase to about 7.6 percent by 2025 (Tabish, 2007). This paper narrows down the occurrence and effects of diabetes in the suburban state of Georgia with an approximate population of about 9 million residents. Of the 9 million residents, 9.8 percent of the adult population has been diagnosed with various types of diabetes (Diabetes Report Card, 2013). The paper discusses the state’s current diabetes surveillance method and results, the analysis of this epidemic in this area and gives a plan of action in the concluding remarks.

Current Surveillance Methods

To obtain accurate information about the prevalence of diabetes, its causes and effects in the state of Georgia, appropriate surveillance methods must be designed and implemented appropriately. The criterial for the selection of the surveillance method is based upon its effectiveness in collecting the wanted information from various sources.  The surveillance system should be capable of giving the right information about diabetes I and type II patient estimates comprehensively.

In this case, the United States Surveillance system is used. Atlas maps for Georgia state diabetic data is reviewed comprehensively. The surveillance systems reveal diabetic data when installing on compatible and configured devices. The data obtained from this source is then used to make analyses, discussions and appropriate recommendation on combating diabetes and finally, a conclusion.

The surveillance method contains data from all the three levels, that is, the county level, the state level, and the national level. The state-level information is a compilation of the data obtained from patients at the county and state levels. The surveillance method is such that when any patient visits a health care, the data obtained is for individuals who have been diagnosed with the condition at any of the health facilities in the county.

Other data that are collected involuntarily include the patients’ blood pressure and blood sugar level that can be used interpretively to depict risks of diabetes infection. The surveillance used from this paper also involves sourcing information form the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, BRFSS. The BRFSS conducts household telephone call survey within the state and other states. The data obtained for 18 plus year olds is comparatively analyzed with the US census data to obtain a comprehensive picture of the condition prevalence. Data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is also used in this case.

Descriptive Epidemiology Analysis

The data obtained is used to analyze regions of the nation and the states as diabetes belts. The statistics reveal that the risk of occurrence of diabetes is higher in individuals with higher than normal blood sugar. The high amounts of sugar are sometimes undetected by normal diabetic diagnoses hence making it difficult to prevent the conditions occurrence at the prediabetes level of type II diabetes. The risk of occurrence of diabetes in the state of Georgia just like in other states is high among adults. The survey reveals that about 33 percent of adults with prediabetes conditions are unawares at risk of developing either type of diabetes. The prediabetes awareness of adults in the State of Georgia is at about a low of 5.7 percent compared to the highest 10.0 percent registered in Tennessee. The prevention of the Type II diabetes is seen as an improbable task if an individual is unaware of their prediabetes conditions. The unawareness can, however, be curbed by effective diabetes prevention and diagnosis efforts are multiplied. In the state of Georgia in the past year, 68 percent and 60 percent of individuals reported to health care centers for check up on blood glucose levels and diabetes self-management classes respectively.

The occurrence of diabetes with the low awareness percentage among adults in the state of Georgia implicates severe financial implications once the condition is fully developed into type II diabetes. To control the effects of diabetes comprehensive clinical care and management strategies are put into place to ensure survival. According to a Georgian state government report, the condition of diabetes type II is associated with age bracket above 45 years old, the genetic history of diabetes within the family, overweight, history of gestational diabetes mellitus and prediabetes, hypertension, and abnormal and high cholesterol levels. The dispersion of the condition in Georgia is also not equal to areas such as Columbus and Valdosta registering significant risk statistics. Among the diagnosed adults, females had a higher diabetes prevalence than their male counterparts while the Black and Non-Hispanic ethnic groups have also had a significant risk and prevalence compared to other races and ethnic groups. The entire state had about 703,289 adults diagnosed with the condition. The prevalence of the disease was significant in households with lower incomes (17.5 percent) and among individuals with low education levels (15 percent).

Table 1: Diabetes Prevalence in Georgia by Age, Sex and Employment Status

Demographic Characteristics

Prevalence percentage

Estimated numbers(adults)

Sex

Male

Female

 

19.8

21.1

 

126785

163996

Age(years)

18-44

44-64

>65

 

9.3

23.4

27.6

 

37894

144333

107344

Employment Status

Employed

Out of Work

Unable to Work

 

11.3

12.1

31.3

 

54752

13114

103897

Source: Georgia.gov (2008-2010).

The government of the state of Georgia paid dearly in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition to an amount estimated at 5.1 billion US dollars.  The medical costs in the treatment and diagnosis accrued to about 3.3 billion dollars, while financial losses incurred due to the incidences of the condition summed up to 1.8 billion US dollars. The 2007 Medicaid beneficiary costs are broken down into an individual cost amounting to about 3200 US dollars for each diabetic patient. These costs are high since the diabetic patients utilize relatively increased amounts of medical resources like prescriptions and nursing costs (Diabetes Surveillance | Georgia Department of Public Health, 2016).

Screening and diagnosis of diabetes

The major treatment used for diabetes for both types is the administration of synthetic insulin. The comprehensive screening of pre-diabetes and the subsequent diagnosis is important to the health of the individual and the productivity of the society. Basic screening for diabetes is done to identify the incidences of diabetes in individuals and adopt appropriate strategies to control the effects of the condition. Another diagnosis done on the disease is the glaucoma screening. Glaucoma has been identified as a comorbidity of diabetes (“Data and Statistics | Diabetes | CDC,” 2016).   Preventive methods used for the control of diabetes include the diabetes self- management training and the medical nutrition therapy. These measures help in preventing the development of these diabetes complications through lifestyle changes and personal –care. The services are offered to individuals Medicare Advantage plans and the traditional Medicare, and receive medications that include insulin and other prescriptions for the management of both types of Diabetes.

•    The national government has running initiatives that are aimed at combating diabetes and providing better management and prevention strategies. The combative campaigns include;

•    Innovation awards for diabetes treatment and control ideas

•    Provision of Medicaid Incentives to prevent the incidences of chronic forms of the disease by individuals

•    State-based programs by the CDC to help prevent and control the prevalence of diabetes

•    The mandate by the National diabetes and prevention program and the national prevention strategy

•    The communities have also been engaged in the efforts of addressing diabetes and bringing down health disparities like sex, gender, and race.

•    Tracking national health progresses through diabetes surveillance systems (“Data and Statistics | Diabetes | CDC,” 2016). 

Plan of Action

In a bid to join the government of the state and the national government in combating the prevalence of diabetes in the State of Georgia I have come up with my preventive and management plan of action. This plan of action focuses on the educative aspects of the prevention and management of diabetes. The actions are then followed up with a proper tracking mechanism to ensure how effective my goal in this area is achieved:

Join hands with agencies that are mandated to provide useful public information concerning diabetes. This act will be done through the household distribution of publications and provisioning of useful information on the inquiries made within the state. After the relay of this information, the healthcare response decisions made by the resident will be monitored through soliciting of health facility information on the number of turn up for diabetes-related checkup and the nutrition based decisions made within the households

The second action is the creation of awareness on social and health-related disparities that have been dominant in the current situation. The public will be informed of the inclusive of diabetes prevalence based on a health- care perspective to avoid the association of particular groups with the disease. The performance in this regard will be tracked based on the stereotyped groups’ response through visits in health care facilities and nutrition and exercise based decisions.

The last action will be to take part in personal and organizational research for the prevention and better medication methods for the combating of diabetes. The performance in this regard will be through comparisons of trials with the effectiveness of current medication measures.

Conclusion

Diabetes is a condition that is associated with high glucose in the blood and lack of proper bodily mechanisms to normalize it. The condition has become a major epidemic with no social, age and gender limitations. In this paper, the prevalence of the condition in the State of Georgia has been discussed revealing a healthy percentage of potential unawareness of prediabetes condition. The screening and preventive methods for the conditions are also identified, and a prospective personal plan of action developed to ensure that the participation in combating this global epidemic is all inclusive and successful.

References

Tabish, S. (2007). Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century?. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved 5 December 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068646/

Data and Statistics | Diabetes | CDC. (2016). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 5 December 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/index.html

Diabetes Surveillance | Georgia Department of Public Health. (2016). Dph.georgia.gov. Retrieved 5 December 2016, from https://dph.georgia.gov/diabetes-surveillance

Current Population Demographics and Statistics for Georgia by age, gender, and race.. (2016). SuburbanStats.org. Retrieved 5 December 2016, from https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-georgia

Diabetes Report Card. (2013). Division Of Diabetes Translation. Retrieved from http://https//: www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs