Epidemiology and Primary Diabetes Prevention

1965 words 8 pages
Epidemiology Paper

Mazurah Smith

University of Phoenix

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, "[By 1993] death certificates listed diabetes as the fifth leading cause of death for Blacks aged 45 to 64, and the third leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older in 1990.” (Bailey, 2007). These statistics show how serious the problem of diabetes has become in the black community. Epidemiological studies can focus the efforts of the healthcare community to effective interventions aimed at lowering the prevalence and incidence of diabetes among African Americans.

This paper will explore the role of epidemiology in the surveillance of the incidence of
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Descriptive epidemiology asks who gets a disease and under what circumstances. Once these questions are answered, the causality of the disease can become the focus of further investigation.

Levels of Prevention

Although it is widely believed that type 2 diabetes mellitus is the result of a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors, compelling evidence from epidemiologic studies indicates that the current worldwide diabetes epidemic is largely due to changes in diet and lifestyle. “Prospective cohort studies and randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes can be prevented largely through moderate diet and lifestyle modifications.” (Schultz &Hu, 2004). Excess adipose tissue is the most important risk factor for diabetes, so maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding weight gain during adulthood is the most important way to facilitate primary diabetes prevention. Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors such as prolonged TV watching are important both for maintaining body weight and improving insulin sensitivity. This is an important step in reducing mortality because “some studies report higher death rates among racial/ethnic minorities and among those in the lower socioeconomic strata.” (Akinabami, et al, 2007). The goal of primary prevention is to engage in behaviors that cause the host to avoid development of the disease. An example would be to maintain a


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