Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Adults: Social Barriers in Treatment and Prevention




McGlennon, Matthew R.
Ikram, Haseeb R.
Mabile, Colten
Mohajir, Wasay A.
Nomad, Farad


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Purpose: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, also known as adult onset diabetes, is a disease in which there is development of insulin insensitivity within the body. Recently, rises in obesity and metabolic syndrome have caused increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the US population, with 9.3% of the US having the disease, and about 1.7 million new cases per year. As a health consequence, diabetes has become the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. The purpose of this research was to analyse the barriers in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as propose solutions to addressing this growing problem. Methods and Materials: To examine diabetes prevalence dependent on different social factors, information was collected from the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report and the American Diabetes Association. For Texas, statistics from the Texas Department of State Health Services were examined. From this information, significant barriers towards prevention and treatment were identified. Solutions to these barriers were analyzed to find the most efficacious methods of prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Results: The prevalence of diabetes has risen in recent years, due in part to lack of diet, exercise, and education in the community. Dietary factors that are responsible for increased prevalence dealt with the lack of access to healthier foods and ease of access to foods that are cheaper but lack nutritional substance (so called ‘empty calories’), mainly seen in low socioeconomic locations. A decrease in time spent exercising was also noted; exercise results in a higher caloric consumption by the body, as well as being linked to prevention and mild reversal of insulin insensitivity. Lack of information was seen as a major contributor, especially for people of lower socioeconomic standing. Conclusions: These barriers provide a great deal of resistance in the treatment and in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, thus they must be brought down if there is to be effective containment of diabetes development. Programs and support groups have shown significant increases in the development of knowledge of the patient on not only treating their own diabetes, but in also helping people make more informed decisions. Early childhood intervention was shown to be a major benefit to disease prevention, with plans such as school lunch remodeling and nutrition education helping inform and direct children towards healthier lifestyles.