3 Ways the Diabetes Epidemic Impacts Vulnerable Communities

Feb 22, 2024 | Nurse-Led Care News |


Diabetes is a growing concern in the United States, affecting millions of lives and disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable communities. Within this landscape, residents of public housing, both young and aging, face unique challenges that contribute to alarming statistics.

Let's delve into three critical facts that shed light on the diabetes epidemic within these populations.

1. Disproportionate Burden

Studies show the prevalence of diabetes is significantly higher among individuals residing in public housing compared to the general population. This highlights the urgent need for targeted interventions. These populations are at greater risk of diabetes due to limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. An estimated 23.5 million Americans live in these food deserts - areas without a grocery store selling fresh food. These factors, alongside the increased need for healthcare resources and training, contribute to the increased prevalence of diabetes.

2. Limited Access to Healthcare Resources

Residents of public housing often face barriers to accessing proper healthcare, exacerbating the diabetes crisis. Regular medical check-ups and diabetes management require consistent access to healthcare facilities, which may be limited in these communities due to barriers such as access to transportation, funds, and childcare, to name a few. The lack of preventative care and education further compounds the issue, hindering efforts to mitigate the impact of diabetes.

3. Socioeconomic Factors Amplify Diabetes Risk

Socioeconomic factors play a pivotal role in diabetes prevalence among public housing residents. Limited financial resources may lead to reliance on inexpensive, unhealthy food options, which can contribute to higher rates of obesity and diabetes. Additionally, stressors related to economic instability, housing insecurity, community violence, and lack of green spaces can elevate the risk of developing diabetes, emphasizing the interconnected nature of health and socioeconomic well-being.

Addressing the diabetes crisis among public housing residents necessitates a multifaceted approach. Comprehensive healthcare reform, increased health center training, access to education on healthy living, and community-based initiatives are crucial steps in combating this epidemic. By understanding and addressing these facts, we can work towards creating a healthier future for all, ensuring that no community is left behind in the fight against diabetes.


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About The Author

Matt Beierschmitt is a Senior Program Manager at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium.

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