The East Coast of the United States, especially Florida, and Texas have some of the greatest hot spots for long-term diabetes complications, according to research being presented Sunday, June 12 at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.
The Great Plains and the West Coast were home to more cold spots for long-term diabetes complications.
Jacques Lowe, BA., a medical student with a professional area of focus in diabetes at Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Champaign, Ill., and colleagues sought to determine whether there are significant short-and long-term disparities among people living with diabetes in specific regions of the United States and why that is.
“Our analysis has enabled us to create a map of the United States that showcases hot spots of different diabetes complications and any demographic information associated with these areas,” said Lowe. “Our hope is that by using these findings as a guide we can better concentrate our support to mitigate the complications of diabetes in these populations.”
The research team analyzed multiple public databases, primarily under the Medicare system, to understand diabetes complications across 3,061 counties in the United States. Data were organized and exported into a geospatial analysis software, which illustrated hot spot clusters in counties with long-term diabetes complications in Florida and Texas. Alternatively, counties located in the West and Great Plains demonstrated cold spots for lower long-term diabetes complication rates.
The data was confirmed when Lowe and colleagues recognized that short-term complications were at their highest in Florida and Texas, as well as in some areas of the West Coast.
There were greater populations of Hispanic and Black patients with diabetes in the hot spot areas for complications compared with the cold spot regions. This particular subset also appeared more often in areas that tended to be more densely populated.
These findings suggest that there are regional and demographic populations that have a greater risk for adverse diabetes complications compared with others within the country.
“Our research team is making strides to better understand the regions and populations most affected by diabetes so we can help those most in need,” Lowe said.