Socioeconomic status associated with diabetes


The study focuses on one of the topics in the Health People 2020 goals, diabetes. Diabetes is a disease, which affects the ability of the body to respond to sugar in the blood. The blood may, therefore, have high or low sugar leading to type 2 and 1 diabetes respectively. The primary cause of the disease is lifestyle like smoking and physical inactivity, and therefore it affects so many people in the society who are not able to maintain a good lifestyle. In the US, the prevalence of the disease stands at 30.3 million people in 2015 with 1.5 million new cases reports. It ranks number seven in the major causes of deaths with a high-cost burden of around $ 245 billion. The prevalence and high cost of the disease treatment are the reasons why the US government included it to be among the goals addressed in the Health people 2020 plan. The federal and States governments set policies and legislation, which will enable diagnosis prevention and treatment of the disease. The key focus program is lifestyle changes in older adults at community and group levels.

Socioeconomic status associated with diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes in the US stood at 30.3 million people, 9.4 percent of the whole population or 1 person in every 10 in 2015 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). The number represents 30.2 million adults above 18 years, which is 12.2 percent of all adults. However, the prevalence increases with age where 25.2 percent of the 30.2 million were over 65 years. The incidence rate was 1.5 million of the whole adult population which translates to 6.7 people per 1000. The CDC (2017), reports that more than half of the incidences were from adults between the age of 45 and 64 years. The numbers represent cases of both type 1and 2 diabetes. However, they are more of type 2 diabetes because of its high rate of 90 to 95 percent. The CDC (2017) reports that diabetes lead at number seven in causes of deaths in 2015 standing at 79, 535 deaths. The cost for diagnosed cases was $ 245 billion. The reported risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and physical inactivity.

Specific population, program or organization

The policy to reduce prevalence and incidences of diabetes suggests lifestyle changes in the population of those at high risk (Office of Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP], 2019). Life change is an effective strategy, which prevents or even delays type 2 diabetes onset. The CDC (2017) notes that diabetes prevalence increases with age as people become inactive physically. The policy focuses on older adults, racial and ethnic groups through lifestyle interventions at communities and group settings. The program for lifestyle changes is placed under the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is mandated to oversee the lifestyle programs nationwide. Also, the policy aims at reaching the population with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (ODPHP, 2019). The intention is to have new laboratory measure, which will make it diagnose diabetes easily at the community level, for example, use of eye and foot exams.

Specific legislators involved

The federal and state governments are responsible for policy development, which will help reduce, prevent and treat diabetes cases through different programs. They develop policies through the various houses representatives and the Senate. The governments also collaborate and function through the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which provides information on the state of diabetes. Also, there is the United States Senate Diabetes Caucus which comprises of several senators a membership of more than 350 (Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, 2019). The organization supports legislative, which improve research, treatment, and education on diabetes besides educating the Congress on diabetes-related issues.

Policy influence on clinical practices and inter-professional teams

The policy changes clinical practices from treating the disease and extend in follow-up and education for the community on preventive measures. Also, clinics will not only address the condition presented by patients but also carry out tests on diabetes to be able to diagnose the unnoticed cases of diabetes. The critical element of the policy being lifestyle changes, the clinical practices will also include education intervention for the community they serve on dietary and physical activities to help delay and prevent diabetes. Lifestyle changes will help reduce diabetes cases since it is the leading cause including physical inactivity and smoking as noted by the CDC (CDC, 2017). Inter-professional teams including diabetes specialists, nutritionists, and physical therapists can coordinate to refer specific patients on the type of treatment they need. Doctors, after diagnosing on the cause of the condition can refer the patient to either nutritionist or physical therapist. Also, all the specialist can engage the community in education programs on how to prevent diseases through lifestyle changes.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2017). National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017.  Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2017.

Office of Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) (2019). Diabetes. Retrieved from

Diabetes Advocacy Alliance (2019). Diabetes Caucus retrieved from

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