Epidemiological Practices and Methods and Healthy People 2030

One of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2030 is achieving high standards of living and the well-being of the population free of preventable disease, disability and injury (ODPHP, n.d.).  Diabetes is a preventable disease whose complications can have deleterious effects such as blindness, kidney injury and physical disability because of foot amputation.  Additionally, the productivity of people with poorly managed diabetes reduces. Healthy People 2030 aims at reducing the burden of diabetes and elevating the quality of life for all the people who have or are at an increased risk for diabetes.  It should be noted that the US is one the of the leading countries in terms of the cases of Diabetes (Afaya et al., 2020).  More than 30 million people in the US have diabetes and it is one of the leading causes of death as it is ranked 7th (Glovaci et al., 2019b).  Notably, Healthy People 2030 is focused on lowering the cases of diabetes, complications as well as deaths.  Epidemiological data is used to determine the demographic characteristics of people with diabetes in the US.  Additionally, it helps to indicate the level of diagnosis and screening in the country.  Epidemiological data plays a significant role in identifying the level of control of diabetes in the population by determining the number of people that develop complications such as leg or foot amputations, loss of vision and kidney injury (Tracey et al., 2016).  Through the use of epidemiological data, interventions are put in place to help people manage diabetes and reduce the risk of complications and preventive measures are developed, for example helping people eat healthier, get physical activity and lose weight to help reduce the number of new cases.

Epidemiological data has a significant role in achieving the goal of increasing the number of people with known diabetes that are screened for retinopathy.  The epidemiological data is sourced from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Center for Disease Control and NCHS (ODPHP, n.d.). The minimal statistical significance is the method used to set the targets for Healthy People 2030.  For example, Diabetic retinopathy was the leading cause of the increased prevalence of blindness in the adult working population in the US in the year 2018 (Moshfeghi et al., 2020).  Therefore, Healthy People 2030 can develop initiatives and policies for making sure that screening for diabetic retinopathy among the working population that has been diagnosed with diabetes is conducted on regular basis (Ware et al., 2022). The most recent baseline data indicate that 62.3% of adults that are over the age of 18 with known diabetes had an examination in the last 12 months in the year 2017 using the year 2000 for standard population age adjustment (ODPHP, n.d.).  The Healthy People 2030 aims at increasing the number of people screened to 67.7%.  This will reduce the number of people with blindness as a disability because of diabetes.

Epidemiological data can be used to determine the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy and other complications. For example, people with long-standing diabetes, elevated blood sugar levels, hypertension, obesity, being on only insulin, family history of diabetes as well as poor socioeconomic status (Flaxel et al., 2020).  Data-driven strategies are then employed to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy such as proper blood control, controlling of blood pressure, effective timely screening and conducting regular follow-ups through the diabetic eye clinics (Afaya et al., 2020). Additionally, epidemiological data on obesity can guide interventions towards reduction of the same, for example, the majority of the African Americans are overweight and significant others are obese. Health education and provision of physical education facilities can be intensified in specific neighbourhoods with high prevalence rates (Gujral & Kanaya, 2021). There is a need for a greater commitment to the prevention of obesity through school and workplace programs. For example, research shows that workplace programs have identified six promising practices for example incorporating increased access to physical activity with health education (Brown et al., 2021; Glovaci et al., 2019a; Gujral & Kanaya, 2021).   Even the modest improvement resulting from such interventions will play a significant role in reducing health disparities and inequities in the American population concerning diabetes mellitus.  Facing the social determinants of health related to diabetes can play a significant role in achieving the Healthy People 2030 goals.  Social determinants such as income, education and access to a balanced diet have an impact on the development of diabetes (ODPHP, n.d.).  There is evidence that one in seven U.S. households did not have food security in 2013 (Gujral & Kanaya, 2021). Through such epidemiological data, one can deduce that it is challenging to make expected progress in the prevention of diabetes when a large number of households do have enough access to nutritious food.

The Healthy People 2030 encourages the use of evidence-based resources in the management of diabetes. The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends employing team-based control of type 2 diabetes (Soltero et al., 2018). It should be noted that team-based care denotes a health systems-level ganizational intervention which assigns a multidisciplinary team such as the patient, primary caregivers as well as at least one other healthcare professional to aid the patient in getting proper medical tests and examinations, rational use of medicines to control and manage risk factors as well as self-management of health care and treatment adherence (Levengood et al., 2019). Additionally, it improves making healthy behaviour and lifestyle choices.  For example, through the use of epidemiological practices such as reducing the number of adults with known diabetes that have glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values of more than 9% (ODPHP, n.d.).  HbA1c is an evidence-based intervention which is used to track the patients’ progress and response to diabetes management interventions.  The baseline data indicate that 18.7 per cent of the people aged 18 and above eyes diagnosed with diabetes had HbA1c values of more than 9% in 2013-16 while the current target is reducing the number to 11.6% (ODPHP, n.d.).  On top of that, the CPSTF recommends involving the community health workers who are the first point of care public health workforce that link the underserved communities to the health care systems in helping people gain control in the management of their blood glucose levels and possible complications (Johnson et al., 2018).  The pomological practices have been key in helping enhance patients’ blood sugar and lipid control, as well as reducing their health care use.  The interventions will be key in improving diabetes care as well as self-management behaviours. It entails education, coaching and social support to improve medication adherence, testing and monitoring of diabetes and lifestyle modifications such as diet, physical activity and management of weight.

Data on the section of the population diagnosed with diabetes that receives formal diabetes education can help reduce the mortality rate and avoid overwhelming the healthcare system. According to the Behavioral Risk Surveillance System and the CDC, 51.7% of people above the age of 18 and above year that were diagnosed with diabetes had received formal diabetes self-management education as well as support in the year 2017 with the number increasing to 55.1 in 2019 and the current target is 55.2% which is attainable (ODPHP, n.d.). It should be noted that formal diabetes education plays a significant role in helping people to have knowledge and skills, and the capacity they require to manage their condition. Consequently, this improves the health outcomes among people having diabetes. This is key to improving healthy literacy to enhance the health and well being of the American population.