Home is Where the Diabetes is?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

In this day and age, it’s no longer a shock when you hear eating this will cause cancer or not doing that will increase your risk of heart disease. But who knew that the actual place you live can contribute to your health?

According to a recent study featured in this week’s Disease Management Update, adverse housing conditions are strongly linked to developing diabetes in urban, middle-aged African Americans. For the study, houses were rated for inside and outside cleanliness and the condition of the furniture inside, while neighborhoods were evaluated for noise, air quality and condition of houses, streets, yards and sidewalks. Something as common as a crack in a sidewalk contributed negatively to a neighborhood’s quality rating.

While it is not yet clear exactly how housing conditions contribute to the onset of diabetes, what steps can be taken now to reduce these problems? For starters, disease management (DM) programs can be proactive and partner with state programs, local agencies, schools, faith organizations, businesses and clubs, within these poor inner cities and attempt to reduce other factors that increase one’s risk of diabetes such as diet and weight. By working together, DM programs and community-based organizations can educate the population about known factors contributing to their risk of diabetes and what they can do now to eliminate these risk factors.

Is your organization cashing in on these profitable partnerships with community organizations? We want to hear about the payoffs in improved outcomes!

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