Diabetes mellitus is a severe global problem that affects all countries and segments of the population. Simultaneously, in most cases, the disease is preventable with the help of simple methods. For this reason, the health care system and social services must devote more effort to developing effective diabetes prevention programs. A synthesis of evidence and facts from scientific research demonstrates that diabetes prevention interventions are necessary because they have economic benefits for the health system, reduce mortality, and improve the quality of public health.
In the process of researching the problem of diabetes mellitus, three articles were analyzed. The first one, by Ford et al. (2021), evaluated how physical activity changed after an implementation of a culturally-specific study of diabetes intervention programs in South Asia. As physical activity proves to positively influence the quality of life in general and on patients’ condition in many diseases, it is only logical that the interventions target it specifically. In this regard, the study by Ford differentiates from other articles, as it also addresses the need for culturally appropriate interventions in order to have the best outcomes. The research by Mathe et al. (2017) provided insight into physical activity rates among adults with type II diabetes, revealing the correlations between sedentary behavior and diabetes outcomes. This approach specifically targets the consequences of lessened physical activity for diabetes patients, providing scientific evidence of the importance of related interventions in the field.
Finally, the study by Ho-Pham and Nguyen (2019) addressed a specific issue among the diabetes patients: lower trabecular bone scores and a higher risk of fractures associated with it in comparison to patients without diabetes. Thus, this research differentiates heavily from the previous two, which provided information on general diabetes health outcomes associated with heightened or lessened physical activity. The obvious conclusion that can be drawn from the three studies is that the prevention of diabetes is of great importance. A significant part of the population does not know or neglects the measures that protect them from the negative consequences of the disease, and these consequences can take a very unpredictable turn.
Mathe et al. (2017) find that only 10 percent of respondents meet the recommended daily physical activity rate. Such a low rate of awareness of the importance of physical activity importance poses a significant issue for preventing both diabetes itself in yet unaffected populations and in patients diagnosed with it already. Ford et al. (2021) show similar numbers among the Indian population, which indicates that the problem is quite widespread. In addition, both authors talk about common consequences of diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, kidney disease, and stroke. Simultaneously, Ho-Pham and Nguyen (2019) study a lesser-known consequence of diabetes, such as the fragility of bones, which causes an increased risk of fractures. All these consequences can significantly reduce the quality of life of people living with diabetes and entail additional costs for health care.
Furthermore, researchers demonstrate that interventions can be effective for healthcare. For example, Mathe et al. (2017) note that physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of complications from type 2 diabetes. It is safe to conclude that there is an acute need to educate the population on the importance of prevention measures, and all of the studies address that issue. Ford et al. (2021), for example, find that an education program significantly increases physical activity among participants and reduces the likelihood of diabetes among people with prediabetes by a factor of three. Therefore, if the risk of diabetes is reduced by a factor of three, the cost of treating and maintaining diabetes is reduced proportionally, although this assumption needs to be tested in practice. Nevertheless, considering that US healthcare spends about $ 330 billion annually on treating diabetes and its complications, this intervention would have significant financial benefits for the government (“Cost-effectiveness of diabetes,” 2021). Thus, the research demonstrates that the development of preventive programs against diabetes is a matter of great importance for both people in the US and the state in general.
Ford, C. N., Do, W. L., Weber, M. B., Narayan, K., Ranjani, H., & Anjana, R. M. (2021). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity changes in a diabetes prevention intervention randomized trial among South Asians with prediabetes – The D-CLIP trial. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 174, 1-9.
Ho-Pham, L. T., & Nguyen, T. V. (2019). Association between trabecular bone score and type 2 diabetes: A quantitative update of the evidence. Osteoporosis International, 30(10), 2079–2085.
Mathe, N., Boyle, T., Al Sayah, F., Mundt, C., Vallance, J. K., Johnson, J. A., & Johnson, S. T. (2017). Correlates of accelerometer-assessed physical activity and sedentary time among adults with type 2 diabetes. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 108(4), e355–e361.