Diabetes needs localised treatment, says study

Washington: Factors associated with the prevalence of diabetes vary by geographic region, suggesting that approaches to combating the disease should be localised, a new US study has found.

Weight gain during adulthood also increased diabetes risk.Photo : Reuters
Weight gain during adulthood also increased diabetes risk.
Photo : Reuters
Researchers from the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis analysed county data from the US Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find attributes associated with diabetes.

They discovered that results varied by region. Poverty levels and inactivity were associated with diabetes, but only in some areas.

“In one region of the US, poverty and lower education outcomes are more predictive of higher diabetes prevalence, while in other regions physical inactivity and obesity are more predictive,” said lead author J Aaron Hipp, assistant professor at the Brown School.

The percentage of the population cycling or walking to work correlated with lower prevalence of diabetes in most counties, but not in some rural areas of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, researchers found.

“Given this clustering of predictors of diabetes prevalence, and knowing the effect of the predictors we used in our study, counties, states and regions should be able to better target the most common predictors of diabetes in their more local area,” said Hipp, who is also a faculty scholar at Washington University’s Institute for Public Health.

The study was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.