Type 2 Diabetes in the United States

Subject: Health Care
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1053
Topics: Diabetes, Disease, Health, Medicine


Between 400 and 500 BC, the Hindu physicians Charak and Sushrut were the first to recognize the sweetness of diabetic urine (Holt et al 1). Having no sophisticated technology like today, the diagnosis was made by observing ants who often congregated around such urine or by tasting the urine. These two physicians noted that the disease was prevalent among gluttonous obese people or those who were indolent. Arabic medical texts also confirmed the sweetness of diabetic urine but it was not until 1851 when the French Chemist, Michel Chevreul proved that the sugar in diabetic urine was glucose (Holt et al 1). So why is diabetes such a big health concern? Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes is considered a “lifestyle” disease by many people and scholars alike since it is more common in physically inactive people. People who are obese or overweight with high cholesterol levels are usually more vulnerable to contracting the disease. This paper will discuss in detail type 2 diabetes in the United States, analyzing the current incidence rates, the onset of the disease, predisposing factors as well as treatment and control measures. 


Diabetes is a complication which occurs in a person’s body when the level of the blood sugar rises beyond optimal range due to the body’s inability to utilize insulin or when it is insufficient. It can be in many forms but the two most common forms are the type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The two have similarities in that they come about due to the body’s inability to make insulin or to utilize it. The difference between the two, however, is that in type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin and in type 2, the body is simply insulin resistant as it is not able to use insulin the right way (American Diabetes Association 3). Insulin hormone plays a huge role in human bodies as it is responsible for regulating blood sugar. The onset of type 2 diabetes is characterized by increased thirst levels (Mackinnon 58). Patients also must deal with frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst levels requiring them to change their lifestyle and doing away with certain foodstuffs. Tiredness and fatigue, as well as mood changes, weight loss, and visual disturbances, are some of the symptoms (Mackinnon 58).

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Incidence Rate and Vulnerable Group

In 2015, 9.4% of the American population had diabetes, which translates to slightly over 30 million individuals, and of the 30 million people, 23.1 million were diagnosed and 7.2 million were not (Statistics About Diabetes). Statistics further indicate that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year, with an incidence rate of 25.2% in American adults aged over 65 years, which is high. The older generation was, therefore, more vulnerable to the disease. Among the diabetic population, 132,000 were children and persons under the age of 18 years with 193,000 being adolescents younger than 20 years of age, which translates to 0.24% of the population. However, only 5% of the population was estimated to have type 1 diabetes which often developed during childhood as opposed to type 2 which occurs in most adults. These statistics show that 95% of diabetes cases are of type 2 with most of the patients being adults, although recent figures for children and young persons is on the rise. Considering the race of diabetic patients, the prevalence rate of undiagnosed and diagnosed diabetes was higher in Asians, non-Hispanic blacks, and the Hispanics, and was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States (Statistics About Diabetes). 

Predisposing Factors

Predisposing factors are those that increase the likelihood or risk of contracting a disease and type 2 diabetes has several of them. Pregnancy is one such factor since some expectant women may have high blood sugar during pregnancy leading to what is known as gestational diabetes (Ramaiah 14). Other predisposing factors include stress and depression as a study found out that there is a positive correlation between depression and diabetes. The age and sex of a person can also influence the likelihood of them contracting type 2 diabetes as from numerous statistics, an increase in age translates to an increase in the possibility of becoming diabetic. Moreover, obesity, viral infections, cancer of the pancreas among other factors exposes one more to type 2 diabetes.

Treatment and Control Measures

It is true that prevention is better than cure and this statement bodes well with type 2 diabetes which can easily be avoided or managed. Unlike type 1 diabetes, this condition is linked to people’s lifestyle and thus can easily be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight (Body Mass Index). People who are overweight can devise a routine work out programs to help them lose weight appropriately. In addition to this, control measures such as improving the public knowledge on the disease can be very helpful. Posters can be put up in strategic places to educate people on type 2 diabetes and telling them the symptoms of the disease for it to be detected early. Moreover, mass screening should be done by health agencies to vulnerable groups of people for early detection and treatment. Lastly, people should be encouraged to exercise, eat right and lead healthy lifestyles with yearly urine tests checkups. Those who are diagnosed with the disease can use prescribed artificial insulin and avoid sugary foods.


 It is important to lead a healthy life and no one enjoys being sick or falling ill. Diseases often strike when least expected yet some are preventable. Diabetes 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the United States and all over the world with staggering figures across populations yet it can be easily prevented. Healthy living by doing exercises and maintaining normal body weights can prove to be the difference when it comes to this killer disease. 

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  1. American Diabetes Association. Your Type 2 Diabetes Action Plan. Alexandria, American Diabetes Association, 2015.
  2. Holt, Richard I. G et al. Textbook of Diabetes. 4th ed. Rahway: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
  3. MacKinnon, Mary. Providing Diabetes Care in General Practice. London: Class, 2001. Print.
  4. Ramaiah, Savitri. Health Solutions. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2008. Print.
  5. Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association, 2017.
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