The Diabetes Epidemic
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Background Diabetes is a disease of increasing prevalence in the United States. Thus, it is imperative to appreciate the current state of the disease, its impact on the population, and the resources available to potentially get ahead of the diabetes epidemic. This research project is a meta-analysis of diabetes data nationally, as well as within the state of Texas and Tarrant County itself. In 2015, 30.3 million Americans suffered from diabetes, which was approximately 9.4% of the population at the time. Every year there are approximately 1.5 million new diagnoses of diabetes. One of the most pressing issues that the United States has been facing in the last decade and a half is the increase in type 2 diabetes among children. Between 2002 and 2012, the rate of newly diagnosed cases in children between ages 0-19 increased by 4.8 percent each year. Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death (as of 2015) in the United States. This epidemic incurs a heavy financial burden, costing the country an estimated $327 billion annually. Our team uncovered the psychosocial impact the disease has on patients, which would also need to be addressed to tackle the diabetes epidemic from all aspects to be effective. Methods We sought additional resources that could help address the psychosocial impacts. Tarrant211.org and Tarrant Cares websites were used to identify community resources for people with diabetes in Tarrant County. Results We found a number of resources available in Tarrant County to handle this issue. These include national and local as well as governmental and non-profit organizations. These include Medicare, Medicaid, and the American Diabetes Association on the national level and programs such as the Texas Diabetes Council on a state level. Some of the programs specific to Tarrant county that we look into include the Diabetes Community Grant Health Program, and the Tarrant County Diabetes Collaboration. Conclusions A variety of community resources are available for those with diabetes, including those mentioned above. Resources that are targeted specifically at the adolescent population, however, remain scarce and some gaps remain.