How neighborhoods shape life with diabetes

By Reuters Health

People with diabetes who live in poor communities with limited access to exercise facilities or grocery stores may have a harder time managing their symptoms than diabetics living in more affluent areas, a U.S. study suggests.

Communities with lower employment, income and education that have scant resources to support exercise and healthy eating have long been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. For the current study, however, researchers focused on 15,308 patients who already had diabetes to see if their neighborhoods might impact how well they lived with the disease.

Still, the findings add to the evidence that it can be much harder for patients in poor neighborhoods with limited resources to manage diabetes and other chronic diseases.

“It might be that those with worse pre-existing disease or risk moved to this poorer neighborhood,” said Dr. Rita Hamad, a researcher at the University of California San Francisco who wasn’t involved in the study.

“That means the neighborhood isn’t causing their worse diabetes; they already were at risk because of personal characteristics,” Hamad said by email.

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Diabetes mellitus

Usually shortened to just diabetes. Sometimes called sugar diabetes. Look at Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes for more information

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Chronic diseases

Diseases which last months or years, do not go away on their own, and are usually managed and not cured. For the first time in history diseases that are not caused by infection (non-communicable diseases) are causing more injury and death worldwide than are those caused by infection. In the US this has been true for decades but the rest of the world is catching up as our diet and lifestyle are becoming more common globally.

SugarScience Glossary