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Poverty and Type II Diabetes


Poverty is an old problem that our world has been facing for many decades. But this problem has now given rise to Type II Diabetes. Earlier there was a common belief that diabetes was a disease for wealthy and rich people who ate a lot of sweet food and live sedentary lifestyle. But development of Type II Diabetes is observed more among people living in poverty. Actually according to the estimates people earning less than $15,000 per year are more prone to this disease than the people earning nearly $80,000 per year. In fact, living in poverty can double or even triple the chances of development of Type II Diabetes.

According to Professor Dennis Raphel, Low income earners and poor people don’t only face Type II diabetes conditions but they do suffer complications related to this disease in the form of amputations, blindness or even cardiovascular diseases. Mr. Raphel,  Health Policy and Management professor at York, finally conveyed that once lack of physical activities, obesity and other life style risks related to low income earners are taken into consideration the rates of diabetes incidence would  occur even between people of higher and lower income.


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Impact of Poverty and Type II Diabetes

Actually Poverty and Type II Diabetes are positively related to each other. That is, the various factors of Poverty further push the chances of development of Type II Diabetes conditions in the people living in poverty. These include the followings factors:


A low income earner or a person living in poverty, will have the target to make ends meet by spending money on his daily bread, family nurture, school fees etc neglecting his/her own health. Thus low income earners spend less on their health and keep concentrating on their own responsibilities. That may lead to development of various diseases including Type II Diabetes.


The living environment of a low income earner or a person living in poverty cannot be called a healthy environment. He/she might have to live in a crowded area, or near a polluted area thereby making his/her body an easy target of health related problems and even cause the development of  Type II Diabetes conditions.

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People of little education will not have enough opportunities to increase their income and standard of living. In this case a  person will stick to the old ways of living with no means to improve his/her life standards such as living in good environment, earning more, spending more etc. This may lead to the development of various health problems and may further enhance the chances of the development of Type II Diabetes.

Medical Facilities

 Medical facilities available to people living in poverty are also not so good. The poor administration of the low grade doctors and hospitals are meant to make a person more prone to diseases and infections of various kinds. Use of low cost medical equipment that is considered to be expired in the 21st century becomes the root cause of new health problems among low earners  including development of Type II Diabetes.


Some people inherit diseases from their poor background. That is, a new born may develop various cardio vascular diseases from his/her mother having Type II Diabetes conditions.

Research on Type II Diabetes

A number of researches have been conducted till today. Among the most noteworthy are the Research conducted in York University of Toronto. They analyzed the two types of the following information.

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The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

National Population Health Survey (NPHS).

From the data available from the above two survey reports, low income and poverty affects the men two times more than the men of highest income category and the women three times more than the women who are in the highest category of income. This view was figured out taking into account various risk factors as educating process, index of the body mass and other physical activity analysis.

Not only that the NPHS report found out that living the poor life for more than 12 years increases the chances of Type II diabetes risk by 41 percent. Even if the  physical activity levels and obesity were taken into consideration the risk stayed as high as 36 percent.

Barriers to Control Type II Diabetes

There are a number of barriers to control the Type II Diabetes that is increasing in the world at a very fast pace. The barriers include the following types.

  1. Free and safe Physical activity programs.
  2. Lack of access to the healthy foods.
  3. Presence of Stress and Isolation environment.
  4. High costs of regular medical checkups.

The outcome of all the barriers is that the low income earner develops various complications of Type II Diabetes problems like blood sugar, blindness and other cardiovascular diseases. The ailment can be in the form of health coverage, food security, housing facilities and good income employments can help in tackling the issue of poverty and low income and finally control the Type II Diabetes conditions. (Health Policy, Nov. 2010)

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Type II Diabetes and Women During Their Life Cycle

As stated earlier women living in poverty or low income earners face three times more chances of development of Type II Diabetes. Actually it affects all stages of life of a woman. From adolescent to the born of the baby and old ages, the chances of development of Type II Diabetes and its complications is very high for adolescent girl, both the new born and the mother and an old age woman.

Among 15.7 million people with diabetes in the United States in year 2011, more than a half that is 8.1 millions are women. Also it has been observed that from the 8.1 million of women facing Type II Diabetes conditions the higher number of women are Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian Pacific Islander.

Ketoacidosis and Hypoglycemia are the two most chronic complications observed in the adolescent girls. The latest researches have proved that eating disorders may be significantly the reason for the young women to develop such complications. Not only that the physical and mental changes in a young woman during puberty period make diabetes management and control even more complicated.

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During the Reproductive years that is between 18 to 44 years, women suffering from Type II Diabetes has been observed to be suffering from lack of proper and complete education, lower incomes and low level of income if employed. Death rate among women living in poverty and low income earner is three times higher than among the highest income earners. Although such women have healthy pregnancies with normal deliveries, they are still at high risk to complication like preeclampsia that could lead to high blood pressure, swelling, weight gain, bone deformation, urine infections etc.

In the later stage that is after 40 years of age, women generally develop chances of getting Type II Diabetes more often. This was earlier known as Adult Onset in which the level Insulin made by pancreas that allows glucose convert into energy was decreased or completely stopped by the body pancreas.

Older age is considered as a risk factor of heart attack developed due to complication of Type II Diabetes and it is also higher among women than men. And not only have those women having heart attacks survived lesser as compared to men. This way they develop shorter life expectancy and greater risk of blindness.

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Type II Diabetes Affecting People Around the World

Type II Diabetes is common among people around the world. Only the thing that is not clear in the case of Mexican Americans. That is, if it is merely a specific instance of the more general phenomenon for the excess of Type II Diabetes or there have been a discrete genetic susceptibility of Type II Diabetes. A similar kind of case is observed in Asian, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans. Actually in the case of Mexican Americans they share a status of Native American and also have European ancestry. Thus, native Americans may develop a genetic predisposition to Type II Diabetes conditions which Mexican Americans may also develop.

Present Day Scenarios of Poverty and Type II Diabetes in Our World

It is noted that from the past few decades both the problems of poverty and Type II Diabetes are on the growth. In fact a high number of cases are reported from Europe as it was earlier from the Caribbeans and Pakistan. The most common contributor is poverty and hereditary acquirement of the disease, thereby acquiring the disease resulting from obesity, lack of healthy diets and physical inactivity. Moreover, the disease has been on the rise due to the aging population because of the increase in life expectancy in developed nations. In addition, work load, low income and extra expenditures are other reasons for the rise in obesity among the developed nations. The economic slowdown, frequent break ups and other social factors result in creating alienation conditions among people with declining standards of living.

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The result is that the people in these countries move towards watching television as a method to tackle tension. But when they relax, sit back and watch television for hours, this severely affects their health. That is why eating and watching for hours without doing any physical activities bring rise in the following physical problems:

I.   Attention deficit disorders.

II.  Uncontrolled emotional health.

III. Manual dexterity.

IV. Easy moving to depression problem.

V.  Dependence on television and lack of inner strength to tackle real life problems.

The inner strength of the person and ability to cope with the changing environment decline in and the physical activities decrease leading to bad eating habits, that further cause obesity and other Type II Diabetes conditions.

Situation in Developed and in Underdeveloped Nations

Not only the developed nations but the underdeveloped nations are also facing these problems. In the developing nations, some other reasons were as follows:

1)The height of person was also responsible to cause the disease. The Pakistani women were among the top ranking in low heights and facing the Type II Diabetes problem.

2)Malnutrition and low grade living conditions in the underdeveloped nations became the cause of obesity.

3)Illiterate people who were unaware of the good and healthy life styles were also among those facing the Type II Diabetes conditions.

4)Therefore, the underdeveloped nations are not even immune to this disease. They also face millions of cases that are rising due to poverty, illiteracy and other physical factors that give rise to Type II Diabetes conditions. Thus poverty and Type II Diabetes affect not only the developed nations but also the underdeveloped nations.

Poverty Impact on Ongoing Management of Type II Diabetes

According to Joan Christison Lagay (MAT-MPH) and Daren Anderson (MD) from the Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC), which is one of the largest Connecticut health centers, the Type II Diabetes self-management appears to be a key element for the prevention and cure of the disease. With the help of self-management it is possible to prevent different complications which may be caused by Type II Diabetes by the comprehensive interventions made at large scale. And, thus, to overcome the growing Type II Diabetes epidemic, it is important to overcome all the barriers mentioned earlier. For this purpose some of the methods are suggested. The methods are as follows.

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a)Developing a culturally appropriate program of self-management in various cities.

b)Coping with the increasing rate of depression.

c)Training staff in the self-management.


In a nutshell, we conclude that poverty and Type II Diabetes are related. The rise in poverty gives way to increasing Type II Diabetes problems among people. People all over the world face the same problem. Many researches support the dependence of poverty and Type II Diabetes conditions and its prevalence in the present day world. Women living in poverty or low income group have three times more chances of suffering from these problems more often than women in high earning group. Moreover, in the present day world, the disease is on the rise and many other factors as illiteracy, low heights, malnutrition and low grade living standards are responsible for Type II Diabetes developing in other countries around the world.

Therefore the global level steps are required to be taken to overcome this problem and save the humanity from the ill effects of poverty and the outcome in the form of Type II Diabetes conditions.



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