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Promotion of World Health from "Healthy People 2020"

Promotion of World Health from "Healthy People 2020"

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Healthy People 2020 is a US based program launched on December 2nd 2010 wit the sole aim of improving the health of the Nation by following a 10 year plan. Its vision is to have a society in which people live long, healthy lives. The mission statement of the program indicates that the program strives to identify the priorities in improving the nationwide health, improve the awareness of the public on matters pertaining to health, disability and disease as well as the opportunities available for progress in matters of health. Provision of quantifiable goals and objectives applicable at all levels is also the mission of the program. Others include engagement of several sectors to act in strengthening of policies and improvement of practices driven by the best available knowledge and evidence, and identifying of critical research, data collection and evaluation needs (Healthypeople.gov).The paper shall discuss Diabetes, highlighting the program’s initiative of reducing the death rate among persons with diabetes.

Diabetes Goal: Reduce the Death Rate among Persons with Diabetes

In general, the goal of the program as regards diabetes as a whole is to decrease the disease as a whole, while at the same time lessening the economic burden that diabetes mellitus exerts on patients as well as aid in the improvement of the quality of life for all the people who have diabetes or are at a risk of contracting it (Healthypeople.gov).

Overview of Diabetes

DM (Diabetes Mellitus) occurs when the body is unable to produce or respond to insulin appropriately, insulin being the hormone that the body requires for absorption and usage of glucose (sugar) for fueling body cells. When the body lacks a well functioning insulin system, the levels of glucose in the blood may rise alongside various metabolic abnormalities, a factor which may lead to disabling complications. These may eventually lead to death.

Diabetes found its way into the program due to its rampancy in the United States. Gauging from the figures available from various reports, the disease has been charged with affecting approximately 23.6 million persons in the country, and is also the 7th in line among the top leading causes of death. It has been proved to lower life expectancy age by up to 15 years, increase the risks associated with heart disease by up to 2-4 times and is a leading cause of kidney failure. The latter two are also major causes of death. In the United States, premature deaths alongside costs of medical care and disability cost the country’s economy a whooping $174 billion in 2007 (Healthypeople.gov).

For the above reasons, it was inevitable for the program to omit the initiative at hand. The initiative has been split into two major areas which are reducing the rate of all-cause mortality among persons with diabetes and reducing the rate of cardiovascular disease deaths in persons with diagnosed diabetes.

Literature Review

For the longest time, numerous studies have been carried out to emphasize on the seriousness of diabetes. They have been carried out in many different countries over the world and the conclusions have all lean towards the same direction emphasizing on the fatality of diabetes.

One such study was conducted to evaluate the impact of diabetes and smoking on tuberculosis. It was carried out in Korea at the national Masan Tuberculosis Hospital where patients presenting a first TB episode or TB treatment were tracked from the onset through completion of the treatment. Their results from time to time were compared with those of other TB patients with or without a smoking history or diabetes and the data adjusted according to various categories. In conclusion, it was observed that diabetes aggravated the severity of TB disease, whereby diabetes and cigarette smoking separately augmented the risk of death within the initial 12 months after enrollment (Reed et.al. 2013).

A second study to evaluate and quantify the consequences associated with modification of diabetes on renal impairment in its association with mortality was carried out in Malaysia. Both are well known for their independent risk factors that result in mortality and it was therefore deemed important. In conclusion, the results indicated an increase in mortality rate with each progressive stage of renal impairment. However, this was noted to happen in cases of both diabetics and non-diabetics. As such, there was no proven indication that diabetes was responsible for modifying or increasing the risk relation between all-cause mortality and renal impairment (Selvarajah et.al. 2013).

In support of Reed et.al. (2013) findings is a study performed in the United States to help ascertain that diabetes is a chief mortality predictor from stroke and heart disease. The prospective cohort consisting of over a million adults from the United States enrolled for the study in 1982 and was followed for 26 years until 2008. These individuals did not have cancer at baseline. The researchers were able to observe deaths of over 240, 000 men and over 220, 000 women over the 26 years duration. In all these deaths, diabetes was linked with higher risk of all-cause mortality as opposed to other variables such as age, BMI among others. In conjunction with various cancers, diabetes was also found to increase the risks of death such as those affecting the liver, oral cavity and pharynx, prostate, breast, colon and endometrium among others (Campbell et.al. 2012).


Diabetes. Objectives. Retrieved on 13th September 2013 from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicId=8

Diabetes. Overview. Retrieved on 13th September from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicId=8

Campbell, P.T. et.al. (2012). Diabetes and cause-specific mortality in a prospective cohort of one million U.S. adults. US National Library of Medicine. 35 (9). 1835-44

Selvarajah, S. et.al. (2013). Renal impairment and all-cause mortality in cardiovascular disease: Effect modification by type 2 diabetes mellitus. European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 43(2). 198-207

Reed, G.W.et.al. (2013). Impact of Diabetes on mortality in tuberculosis. US National Library of Medicine. 8(2).

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