The paper focuses on assessing diabetes among citizens living in Los Angles. Diabetes mellitus is protracted condition typified by high blood sugar level. There has been outrageous growth on cases of diabetes in world and is currently regarded as an international pandemic. About 17.9 million of people in the US had this disease based on 2007 statistics and about 5.7 million more individuals had the disease though undiagnosed. Los Angeles County documented diabetes as the 6th primary causes of death from 1997. It also identified as an essential reason for premature death in the county from 1999. The disease attributed to 25 deaths in every 100000 individuals in 2006 and was documented as the 9th primary attribute of premature death (Public Health, 2010). This paper designs community health assessment of Los Angeles people focusing more on diabetes.
Diabetes in Los Angeles – The Public problem: Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by abnormal blood sugar level. There are two types of diabetes which include type I or diabetes insipidus and type II diabetes or diabetes mellitus. Diabetes type I is normally caused by inability to effectively produce, release or store a primary hormone or when kidneys are not able to properly respond to the said hormone. It is a rare form of diabetes and it is mostly genetic. Diabetes type II happens when the body fails to utilize insulin or make insulin according. Diabetes type two is very common and can easily be found among elderly in the society. This happens to be the main cause of diabetes in Los Angeles County and in the entire American region.
Who are Affected?
Diabetes is a common problem among adults aged from 50 years onwards. Although it can affect all in the society based on different risk factors, it is highly recorded among the gaining population. The rate of diabetes has been increasing gradually for all ages from 1997 to 2011 with individuals aged from 18 to 29 increasing from 0.8% in 1997 to 1.7% in 2011. Individuals aged from 30 to 39 increased from 2.8% in 1997 to 3.7in 2011. Individuals aged from 40 to 49 increased from 5.1% in 1997 to 7.9% in 2011, individuals aged from 50-64 increased from 11.6% to 14.9% and for individuals aged from 65 and above increased from 14.3% to 24.1%. Based on this data, it is also evident that the rate of diabetes increases with increase in age and thus, it is highly found among the elderly population (Public Health, 2012).
Diabetes is also found to affect men at a higher rate that women though the difference is very minimal. In 2007, the percentage of female with diabetes was 8.8% while that of male was 9.4% and in 2011 the percentage of male with diabetes was 10.8% while that of female was only 9.1%. This is a clear indication that more men were affected by this disease in the county than women. Cases of diabetes in the country are more common among minority communities that include African American, Latino and Asians as compared to whites. However, Latinos are recording the highest number of affected people at 13.5%, followed by African American at 12.4%, the Asians and 9.9%, and then whites at 6.7% based on 2011 statistics. The most affected regions include East at 16.2%, Antelope Valley at 11.9%, and South at 11.7%, with the least affected region being west at 5.2%. Other regions include South Bay at 9.8%, Metro at 8.5, San Gabriel at 7.5%, and finally, San Fernando at 9.6%. Diabetes is also common among pregnant women though the condition may not be permanent. In this cases, cases of younger mother aged from 25 years and above may be common. However, the rate of the affected individuals also increases with age and thus, more cases are reported to older pregnant mothers than younger ones (Public Health, 2012).
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Main Risk Factor
Diabetes type two has been related with age since more elderly people are diagnosed with the disease as compared to younger ones as statistically demonstrated above. Another major aspect contributing to the spread is obesity. Increase in the level of obesity contribute equally to increase in diabetes type II among adults aged from 18 years and above.
Information related to the affected individuals in the population and the risk factors can be used to create intervention to the individuals in the community. Based on the above analysis, the government should consider enhancing early diabetes diagnoses from the age of 40. In this case, free regular diabetes diagnoses should be encourage after one reaches 40 years, and yearly testing done to ensure that this population is free from the disease and those that are affected are treated. Shorter testing intervals should be encouraged among individuals from minority communities especially Latinos and African American (Satterfield et al., 2003). Prenatal testing of diabetes should also be encouraged. Another intervention measure is treatment and management of obesity. People should be taught more about physical fitness and its advantage and be encouraged to take part in physical fitness and good feeding behaviors. This is anticipated to handle obesity and diabetes at large (Tuomilehto et al., 2011).
Information regarding the age, gender, region and ethnic group of the most affected individual would assist in making public policies. Information on risk factor would also assist in developing policies that will enhance a high rate of diabetes prevention. Public policy should focus on early and regular testing, embracing of physical fitness, change of lifestyle at older age to eliminate drugs and other unhealthy products, definition of the best diet at old age, medical insurance policy among other policies that would better the situation.
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