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Maxwell Type 2 Diabetes Research Project


Stephanie C. Maxwell

Northern Arizona University


Type 2diabetes is one of the killer diseases in the world today. Thecondition affects more than 8% of the world population. Thepre-symptoms of type II diabetes include feelings of thirst, weightloss or gain, hunger, irritability, among others. In the UnitedStates, more than 29 million people were affected by type 2 diabetesin 2015 while 2.7 million had the disease in UK in the same year. Acomparison of the disease prevalence shows the US having improverates that the UK. Knowing the statistics for the disease prevalenceis critical in ensuring that measures for prevention are put intoplace. This paper covers the non-communicable disease of Type 2Diabetes worldwide. The research takes an in-depth look at diabetes,specifically Type 2 Diabetes, and dives into the problem within theUnited States and the United Kingdom. The study of the two countrieswill help establish the prevalence patterns as well as thepresymptomatic stages.

I. Type 2 Diabetes inside The United States

  1. Type 2 Diabetes Overview

  1. Type 2 diabetes is one of two forms of diabetes affecting the population today. Once referred to as adult-onset diabetes, it is becoming more common in children as well as adults (Diabetes, 2016). Type 2 diabetes is a result of the body inadequately using insulin hence spiking blood glucose levels to be higher than normal. The body develops an insulin resistance overtime becomes the non-communicable disease, type 2 diabetes (Type 2, 2016). About 8.5% of the adult populations around the world are living with diabetes including 29.1 million Americans. Type 2 diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States (Statistics about Diabetes, 2016).

  2. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to produce insulin, which is a hormone found in the body that is used to convert glucose found in foods into energy. Type 1 diabetes patients are required to take insulin injections in order to keep the body from going into hypoglycemic shock (General Diabetes Facts and Information, 2016). Type 1 is usually diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood and is treated throughout the patient’s lifetime (Statistics About Diabetes, 2016). Type 2 diabetes is the result of the body not creating enough insulin or the body becoming insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes is the largest contributor to the overall diabetes epidemic in the world (Diabetes, 2016). Until recently, type 2 diabetes was known as adult onset diabetes and there were very few cases found in adolescents. Now, the adolescent cases of type 2 are rising at an alarming rate and the health arena has high cause for concern. Type 2 diabetes is brought on primarily due to lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise (Biddle, Edwardson, Wilmot, Yates, Gorely, Bodicoat, Davies, 2015). To lower diabetes rates overall, a focus on type 2 diabetes is important since it is avoidable and treatable.

  3. Type 2 prediabetes symptoms are similar to type 1 diabetes including: being very thirsty, frequent urination, weight loss, weight gain, increased hunger, blurry vision, irritability, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, frequent skin, bladder or gum infections, wounds that don`t heal, and extreme unexplained fatigue (General Diabetes Facts and Information, 2016). It has been noted that many diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients report no noticeable symptoms when they are diagnosed which is why health care professionals believe there are many undiagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes around the world (Statistics About Diabetes, 2016).

  4. Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, can be diagnosed in anyone. People that have a family history of diabetes are more susceptible to getting the disease themselves. Other factors increasing a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (General Diabetes Facts and Information, 2016). As people grow older, their risk of type 2 diabetes also increases. It is most common in people over the age of 40 and overweight. Statistically, type 2 diabetes has a higher prevalence rate in Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011). Pregnant woman can also develop diabetes, known as gestational diabetes that is more likely to develop into type 2 diabetes later on in life.

  1. An overweight or older person’s body is more stressed and starts having complications using insulin effectively. Slowly the body develops insulin resistance and/or insulin secretory dysfunctions and is good prognosticators of deteriorating glucose tolerance. The common symptoms of diabetes may start to appear but may also go unnoticed due to other health factors in the individual. Development of type 2 diabetes progresses from normal glucose tolerance to impaired glucose tolerance to full blown diagnosed diabetes over a several year period (Weyer, Tataranni, Bogardus,Pratley, 2001).

  2. When an individual’s body is no longer able to manage insulin effectively, they have reached a full diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. A simple blood test can confirm this diagnosis. Once diagnosis is confirmed, changes in lifestyle and medications can help combat the disease.

  3. The most reliable and recommended way to fight, and eventually cure, type 2 diabetes is changes in diet and physical activity. It has been shown in studies that individuals who eat more home cooked meals and whole foods are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and this same home cooking with a focus on plant and whole foods can also reverse the disease. Heavy consumption of sugary, high cholesterol, or high fat foods facilitates diabetes and significantly cutting these foods out of an individual’s diet will help their body heal and become effective in managing insulin again (Rejeski, Bray, Chen, Evans, Hill, 2014). The consequences of mismanaging type 2 diabetes can have debilitating or even deadly outcomes. When glucose levels become exceedingly high, conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar coma are possible. Damage of the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys occurs and higher the chances of heart disease and stroke. These damages can decrease blood flow and the chance of foot ulcers, infection, and the eventual need for limb amputation. Gestational diabetes increases risks for mother and fetus, and increases the risk for diabetes after pregnancy for both mother and child and could be fatal to the fetus (Diabetes, 2016).

  1. Data &amp Measures Used

  1. According to the World Health Organization 88% of countries, 156 countries worldwide, report having measures in place to help prevent and treat diabetes at a national level. Of the 156 countries with these care plans, only 127 countries report having operational plans in place with their own implementation and funding programs. Of the countries with operational national policies for diabetes, 56 countries include diabetes in an integrated national coverage determination policy, 22 countries have a standalone policy for diabetes, and 49 countries do both (Diabetes, 2016).

  1. Among adults worldwide, 8.5% are living with type 2 diabetes (Diabetes, 2016).

  2. In 2014, 244 million people had diabetes and the number of people living with diabetes now is estimated to be significantly higher, rising an additional 4% more in average, per year (Diabetes, 2016).

  3. Worldwide, there have been about 1.5 million deaths per year. This number has had a shocking rise since the 1980’s, almost doubling the morbidity rate. Overall, it is the eighth leading cause of death around the world (Diabetes, 2016).

  1. Patterns of Disease in the United States

  1. Factors specific to type 2 diabetes in the United States

  1. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2010, 25.8 million people in the United States had type II diabetes. That number has grown to 29.1 million people in 2015 (Statistics About Diabetes, 2016).

  2. The prevalence of type II diabetes is almost equal between males and females. There are, however, notable differences between age/gender and type II diabetes. In the early 2000’s diabetes was slightly more prevalent in woman than men have. As we have progressed through the years, the prevalence rate has swayed to males having slightly more cases of type II diabetes than women (Kautzky-Willer, Harreiter, Pacini, 2016).

  3. In 2010, ethnic differentiations were divided up as follows: 7.1% of non-Hispanic whites, 8.4% of Asian Americans, 11.8% of Hispanics, and 12.6% of non-Hispanic blacks had diagnosed type II diabetes (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011). Currently, 7.6% of non-Hispanic whites, 9.0% of&nbspAsian Americans, 12.8% of&nbspHispanics, 13.2% of&nbspnon-Hispanic blacks, 15.9% of&nbspAmerican Indians/Alaskan Natives have diagnosed type II diabetes (Statistics About Diabetes, 2016).

  4. In 2010, diabetes effected 25.8 million people, or 8.3% of the population (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011). Now, in 2016 approximately 29.1 million people or 9.5% of the United States population are living with Diabetes, with 90% of those cases being type 2 diabetes (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2014).

  5. Alarmingly, 79 million American adults are estimated to have prediabetes that gone untreated will develop into full-blown diabetes within a few years depending on severity (National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011).

  1. The number of diabetes cases in the United States are continually rising and has become a true epidemic. Since the 1980’s the number of cases has grown 4 fold and these numbers are not expected to stop climbing until there is a national shift in prevention and treatment. Healthy lifestyle choices, including clean eating choices and physical activity is needed to help combat diabetes.

  1. Type 2 Diabetes outside the U.S

  1. Patterns of Disease outside the United States

  1. Similar to the United States, the United Kingdom is fighting an uphill battle with diabetes. Like the United States, the United Kingdom is having major problems controlling type 2 diabetes with 90% of their cases coming from type 2, just like the United States.

  1. Diabetes prevalence in England is rising. In 2010, 2.7 million, or 6%, of the adult population had diabetes in the United Kingdom. Currently, 6.2% of adults have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. A quarter of people with type 2 diabetes have the condition but are unaware of it, as a result diagnosed cases understate the true prevalence. Taking these undiagnosed people into account it has been estimated that the true prevalence in the United Kingdom is around 3.2 million, or 7.4%, of the adult population (Diabetes – Medical Research Council, 2015).

  2. Another similarity to the United States, the United Kingdom’s gender prevalence is almost equal. In 2010, males prevalence were slightly higher, 52% male to 48% female, but has now equaled out to 50-50% (Diabetes – Medical Research Council, 2015).

  3. Ethnic prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom is as follows, White 1.7%, African Caribbean 5.3%, All South Asians 6.2%, Indian or African Asian 4.7%, Pakistani or Banagladeshi 8.9%, Chinese 3.0%, all ethnic minorities 5.7%.

  1. The United States and the United Kingdom are facing almost mirrored effects of type 2 diabetes. Both countries have faced a growing diabetes epidemic and both countries are trying to find the best solution to its increasing problems, specifically with obesity and its correlation with type 2 diabetes.

  1. &amp Conclusion

  1. Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that, with other factors, compounds into the most deadly worldwide disease, cardiovascular disease. With diabetes being the eighth leading cause of death worldwide, there is no wonder why the World Health Organization is calling for a care plan to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. If something is not done to prevent further cases, the prevalence rate will keep rising and cause serious health problems for millions more.

  1. The impact globalization has had on diabetes has been large. With the easy access of foods, and the fast paced, less physical lifestyle most countries are adopting, type 2 diabetes is expected to rise.

  2. It has been said that in a public health standpoint, it is easier to impact and treat a population when changes are enacted that do not depend on human variation and action. When it comes to the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is going to take individual changes in lifestyle, both nutritionally and physically. Although, type 2 diabetes has some genetic impact, a huge contributor to the problem is obesity. If obesity is fought, a sure decrease in type 2 diabetes will happen.


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