Many people face barriers in managing diabetes on their own. Their health suffers as a result. Inequality in healthcare is a growing problem in the U.S. today.
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Poverty can be linked to chronic illness and even increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For example, the highest diabetes rate in New York exists within the South Bronx. This is the center of severe poverty in New York. People who live in the Bronx have a very hard time managing their diabetes. There are many reasons why, including factors such as depression, lack of transportation, limited health insurance, poor education, unemployment, and food insecurity. These factors greatly affect people’s ability to take care of themselves. This especially impacts those who are trying to control their diabetes. For example, if someone is uneducated, they might also be unemployed and struggle financially. As a result, that could prevent them from buying healthy foods and necessary health care services.
How does this apply to Latinos with diabetes? Latinos have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. In general, Latinos also experience more risk for diabetes compared to other groups. This could be a result of many factors including lack of access to health care, language and cultural barriers, and low income levels.
If you don’t have health insurance or if you can’t understand basic health information, then you will not likely have access to newer diabetes technology. Patients without an education level that allows them to fully understand basic health information are then at risk for worse health results. Dr. Malkin-Washeim of the Bronx calls this a “health disparity.” This means that there are differences in health care that are unnecessary, unfair, and unjust for certain populations. As a result, many people are not getting the best treatment options to help their diabetes. Dr. Malkin-Washeim states that “technology access should be a right for all people with diabetes and not just for our clients with private insurance.” The use of technology to manage diabetes can be a very powerful tool that everyone should be able to access.
Photo credit Matheus Ferrero at Unsplash.