Public and Community Health
The Selected Health Condition
Diabetes is a metabolic disease and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Research shows that 37.3 million people in the United States, including Palestine in Texas, have diabetes; 8.5 million diabetics are undiagnosed, with 2.8% being men and 3.9% being women. In addition, 28.7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, with 10.2% women and 12.6% men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). Diabetes mellitus mainly includes type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus patients have inadequate control of their glucose blood levels leading to elevated blood glucose levels. Efforts to control diabetes mainly focus on decreasing the number of newly diagnosed diabetes patients, slowing down symptoms, eliminating symptoms, and preventing complications. Prevention and control measures for diabetes include weight loss, physical activity, exercise, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle modifications. Lifestyle modifications include smoking cessation and control of alcohol intake. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes; therefore, weight loss is recommended in individuals whose BMI signifies being overweight or obese. Dietary adjustments include a Mediterranean-style diet, protein control, and carbohydrate control (Sapra & Bhandari, 2022).
Social Determinants of Health Related To Diabetes
Social determinants of health (SDOH) related to diabetes include built environment, education, economic stability, access to healthcare, and cultural and community support. The built environment focuses on safety, transportation, and food. There is a high number of people with diabetes and delayed diagnosis in rural areas and urban areas due to limited transportation in rural areas, which may need to access better healthcare services in urban areas. Community members require proper transportation to access healthy foods. Further, the lack of healthy foods increases the risk of diabetes among community members. Urban regions have transportation that might be poorly designed to lack sidewalks. Consequently, the lack of sidewalks discourages individuals from walking; physical activity is recommended to prevent and control diabetes. Urban residents opt for physical activity in facilities such as the gym, which might be costly for some individuals. Urban planning ensures the presence of good infrastructure but limits space for outdoor activities such as exercise.
Moreover, individuals with higher education levels are more open to learning about diabetes treatment, risk factors, and prevention. Known diabetics with a higher level of education are more compliant with their treatment regimen and medication. Highly educated individuals are more likely to attain better employment which translates to socioeconomic stability. Socioeconomic stability ensures that an individual can afford healthy foods, proper healthcare, and medication (Richards et al., 2022). On the contrary, highly educated individuals with suitable employment tend to be too busy to exercise and prepare healthy meals. Low-income individuals lack adequate finances to visit healthcare facilities and obtain medication. Fortunately, telemedicine has made it easier for patients to access quality healthcare; however, patients in challenging situations still need to visit the hospitals physically.
Additionally, lack of finances hinders patients with a low socioeconomic status from visiting the hospitals for routine check-ups, increasing diabetes complications. Access to healthcare as a social determinant of health for diabetes depends on the place of residence, economic status, and level of education. Individuals residing in locations with few or no healthcare facilities do not visit the hospital unless it is an emergency or they visit facilities in other regions. Rural regions and low-income areas lack specialty and primary healthcare providers. Specialty healthcare providers are crucial for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes. A low number of healthcare providers prevents a healthy patient-provider relationship, which leads to poor patient outcomes. Besides, an individual’s culture dictates their ability to seek healthcare and social support. As such, individuals from certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans, shy away from visiting healthcare facilities due to racism (Kahkoska et al., 2022).
Health Disparities and the Role of the Public Health Department and Local and National Organizations
Health disparities for diabetes in Palestine, Texas, include racial disparities, lack of access to healthcare, the burden of diabetes, mortality rate, and lack of insurance (Mokdad et al., 2022). The public health department and local organizations reduce the threat of diabetes through public awareness. Essentially, public health workers and community health workers educate the public on risk factors and the prevention of diabetes. Also, the public health department ensures every state, including Texas, has high-quality and accessible healthcare. Similarly, national organizations ensure that every region has adequate medication. In addition, known diabetics are educated on monitoring their blood sugar at home.
Gaps in Local Services and Education
Local services develop frameworks to ensure diabetes patients receive quality care. Notably, there are gaps in local services, such as the number of healthcare facilities and several qualified personnel. Some regions have adequate or excess healthcare facilities, while others have inadequate healthcare facilities. Some hospitals have an adequate or an excess number of healthcare professionals specialized in diabetes, while others have inadequate diabetes, specialized healthcare professionals. Nonetheless, I would connect with the local and national public health departments and the national government to meet various needs. For instance, the national public health department would ensure that healthcare needs at the local level are met by collaborating with the local health departments. Also, the local health departments seek guidance, funds, and resources from the national department. Finally, the national government monitors the local healthcare systems and ensures accountability of resources provided and implementation of policies.
Recommended Ways for Increasing Health Equity and Improving Community Health
Health equity can be improved by improving access to education and healthcare. The public health department should develop policies that ensure every location and individual can access quality healthcare regardless of education, race, ethnicity, gender, age, and socioeconomic status. There should be fines and penalties for any healthcare professional discriminating against a patient. The public health department eliminates preventable health disparities such as lack of access to healthcare. The health department should focus on prevention strategies instead of treating diabetes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 29). National Diabetes Statistics Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html.
Kahkoska, A. R., Pokaprakarn, T., Alexander, G. R., Crume, T. L., Dabelea, D., Divers, J., Dolan, L. M., Jensen, E. T., Lawrence, J. M., Marcovina, S., Mottl, A. K., Pihoker, C., Saydah, S. H., Kosorok, M. R., & Mayer-Davis, E. J. (2022). The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Diabetes Management on Clinical Outcomes: A Reinforcement Learning Analysis of Health Inequity among Youth and Young Adults in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Diabetes care, 45(1), 108–118. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc21-0496.
Mokdad, A. H., Dwyer-Lindgren, L., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Stubbs, R. W., Morozoff, C., Shirude, S., Finegold, S. B., Callender, C., Naghavi, M., & Murray, C. (2022). Trends and patterns of disparities in diabetes and chronic kidney disease mortality among US counties, 1980-2014. Population health metrics, 20(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12963-022-00285-4.
Richards, S. E., Wijeweera, C., & Wijeweera, A. (2022). Lifestyle and socioeconomic determinants of diabetes: Evidence from country-level data. PloS one, 17(7), e0270476. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270476.
Sapra A, Bhandari P. Diabetes Mellitus. [Updated 2022 June 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551501/.
We’ll write everything from scratch
For this assignment, you will analyze factors affecting public and community health by writing about the effect of a specific disease or health condition on your community. You will demonstrate your community-assessment skill using data to drive health improvements in community and public health.
Preparing for This Assignment:
Identify 1 disease or health condition that you think is related to SDOH to analyze for this assignment.
Review the Research, Evaluation and Learning page on the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation website and the National Center for Health Statistics section on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Write a 700- to 1,050-word article in which you summarize your analysis and support it with data findings, evidence-based intervention, and a plan to improve community health. In your article:
Describe the selected disease or health condition and efforts to control it.
Explain the SDOH for your community related to this disease or health condition.
Identify any health disparity in your community for this disease or health condition.
Describe what the public health department, local organizations, or others are doing to reduce the threat of the disease or health condition.
Identify gaps in local services and education and how you might connect to other resources to meet needs that are not locally available.
Recommend ways to increase health equity and improve community health as it relates to this disease or health condition.
Format your references according to APA guideline