Epidemiology

Introduction

Diabetes is a disease that occurs as a result of the body not producing enough insulin or the insulin produced is not effectively prevalent. One of the major characteristics of the disease is that the blood contains high levels of glucose, leading to a condition known as hyperglycemic condition (Dabelea, 2011). This condition is common to diabetic people that lead to a crisis of health events. If this condition is not detected and controlled at an early stage, it may lead to a serious health problem and sometimes even death. A person suffering from diabetes has double risk of death, as opposed to a healthy person of the same age. The disease is also a major cause of high blood pressure, stroke and even heart disease. All these accelerate the chances of death to an individual. In addition to this, diabetes can also lead to various complications, for example, kidney failure or loss of vision. The effect of this may be amputation of different parts of the body that are affected, such as the arm or leg (Dabelea, 2011).

Distribution of Diabetes in the USA

One of the greatest challenges the USA is facing is the rate at which the diabetic disease is spreading. According to the center for disease control and prevention, there is a region known as the diabetic belt. Statistics show that people living within this region have a high possibility of contracting the disease. This is due to both physical and environmental factors. It is also estimated that almost 12 percent of the people living in this region have diabetes. This is contrary to only 8.5 percent in the other regions. The statistics, when analyzed, depict that this is approximately 26 million people of the overall population of the people in the United States. States that lie within the diabetic belt include: Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Ohio, north and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and the entire Mississippi state (CDC, 2011).  The CDC carried out the study using the BRFSS technique. This is a state based random digit that is dialed to report any cases. The report compiled showed that the most affected states lie within the southern region of USA. The Council of American Survey and Research Organizations (CASRO) also participated in the research and gave a medium response rate of approximately 68.5 percent.

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Characteristics of morbidity and mortality rate

The report compiled by the CDC shows that the prevalence of the disease changes over time.  However, the disease is a major cause of death within the states and obesity is characterized as a major cause of the disease. The summary of the report indicates that during 2005 to 2007, the average incidences of diabetes ranged from 5 to 12 people for every 1000 people tested. The research was carried out among 40 of the USA states that participated. During this period, the Columbian district and the southern part of Puerto Rico indicated the greatest number of incidences. Prior to this research, the number of incidences was 5 percent lower between 1995 and 1997. The development of weight loss activities was suggested as one of the major approaches to curb the occurrence.

The research also shows the patterns of change of the disease with time. In 1980 to 1990, for example, the patterns of the disease rarely changed. However, an alarming rise was detected starting from 1992. The pattern was a constant increase and as of 2010, the annual number of people diagnosed with new cases of diabetes had almost tripled. It is also predicted that many people are living being unaware of the disease due to lack of   proper diagnosis. From these statistics, it can be seen that the disease increases as time goes by. Various factors can be attributed to this constant increase of the disease. The behavioral risk factor surveillance system indicates a diagnosis of 5.8 percent in Vermont, as opposed to 11.3 percent in Mississippi. In 1997, for example, the deaths associated with diabetes reached a peak of approximately 70,000. This is more than what Aids or cancer cause.

How diabetes varies with time.

Research that has been simulated using the Markov model clearly shows the changes that diabetes undergoes with time. The model projects the incidences of obesity, direct spending and the care that goes in to the victims of the disease. The CDC outlined this model after an effective study of people between 24 and 85 years old (CDC, 2011). According to the projection, between 2009 and 2034, the number of people expected to be diagnosed with diabetes will rise from 24 million to approximately 44.1 million. However, the obesity distribution of people without diabetes is expected to be stable over this span of time with the current 65 percent of the remaining obese. The increase in the incidences of diabetes is expected to rise the annual spending to roughly $336 billion from the current $113 billion.

The diabetes population and it related cost have doubled from the prior study as compared to the recent study carried out in 2012 (CDC, 2012). The lack of significant changes in the private and public health sectors has put a strain in to the available resources. Caring for the affected victims is one of the paramount issues straining the U.S economy today. From the last research, government programs and Medicare institutions are facing both demographic and epidemiologic financial challenges. Policymakers need to have an insight how this cost will change over the years and formulate strategies that will curb the imminent threat to financial resources if the projected trend in diabetes continues and takes root.

Demographic shifts in the population will highly influence the overall costs associated with type 2 diabetes. Diagnostic tests and the development and dissemination of diabetic treatments will also greatly affect the spread of the disease. Levels and trends in obesity will also have a major role in either reducing or increasing the rate at which diabetes spreads.

Risks factors and causes of diabetes

Many factors have been attributed with the cause and spread of diabetes. However, majority of these factors are mere myths. This does not mean that certain factors do not contribute to the spread of the disease. The analysis included in this paper describes some of the major causes of the disease. One of the risk factors is prediabetes. People suffering from this condition have glucose levels that are higher than normal. However, the condition is not enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. As a result, this people are more prone to contracting diabetes without their knowledge. Awareness of this condition is low with only less that 10 percent of U.S adults, aware of their condition. People living with prediabetes can, however, prevent the occurrence of diabetes by doing physical exercise and reducing their body weight. Another reason why the disease is prevalent is due to its hereditary nature. The disease has a possibility of appearing up to 25 percent to the descendants of a family lineage that initially had the disease. If this is not the case, several factors can cause diabetes to any individual, regardless of age or body size.

Another major condition that commonly arises is when the body of an individual resists insulin. When this happens, the body cells produce more insulin leading to the insulin production cells in the pancreas being exhausted. The body does not function properly and this leads to contraction of diabetes. Other risk factors that contribute to the disease may include: high levels of cholesterol in the blood, intake of alcohol in large quantities and age. The risk of contracting the disease increases considerable after the age of 45 and one becomes even more vulnerable after the age of 65 (Cowie, 2006). There are also various symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. One of the challenges is that an individual can live for many years without the knowledge of this disease and only get to know when it is already too late. Emotional factors such as stress can aggravate the disease. The tendency of feeling constantly tired should be observed with interest, as it is a common symptom associated with diabetes. The body uses a lot of energy breaking fats. Other symptoms may include poor or slow wound healing and unexplained weight loss. If these symptoms are not thoroughly addressed, they may lead to adverse diabetes consequences which include loss of vision or even kidney failure and later death.

The fight against diabetes has seen major progress for the past 50 years. The environmental, economic and social behaviors associated with the disease have been addressed. The better understanding gained from this factors has been used to better the development of effective ways to address the issue head-on. The diagnosis carried out among adults indicated that mortality rate from hyperglycemic condition has reduced since the mid 1980s (CDC, 2012). The reduction can be associated with the improvements in the rates of smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol in recent years. Other possible reasons that can be attributed to the decline of this mortality rate include improved glucose control, preventive measures that have been taken to reduce the disease and early detections of diabetes leading to reduced complications (Cowie, 2006).

However, despite the progress and success made, much more is expected if the disease is to be denied the right of claiming lives for the next 50 years. With the current prediction of the CDC, it is heartbreaking that the fight against this chronic disease is not even close to be won. For the past five decades, the health institution has made tremendous efforts in suppressing the disease until the early 90s when it started the uphill at an alarming rate. Comparing the mortality of the past 50 years with the current statistics, it is evident that this disease is back. The situation is even more traumatizing faced with the inevitable reality that the number is likely to raise by 70 percent by 2050. From the research carried out concerning the disease, it is evident that the changes in the environment are a major contributing factor of the disease (Brand-Miller, 2012). To counter the spread of this disease, epidemiologic research must continue and emphasize on the need of identifying the causes of the disease, other than the existing ones.

Continued support is also needed to establish programs that will be broad based in carrying out research and implementing their findings. The most crucial way is finding ways of funding these organizations. The health sector should also shift from just providing more care and concentrate on methods of providing good care to people suffering from the disease or those showing symptoms of the same. The existing efforts and organizations such as the CDC should continue to provide prevention and control programs (CDC, 2011). They should, however, be backed up by more comprehensive organizations. Trends in the spread of the disease should also be continually monitored since public health surveillance is a pillar in the field of health management. When implemented, this technique is a source of viable data that can be used to implement policies in the long run (Cowie, 2006).