Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes Greater When Living In High-Deprivation Neighborhoods

The neighborhood you live in could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes - especially if you live in a deprived community, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

The study builds upon past research that showed a pattern between poor health and deprivation. These new findings claim a more direct link between disadvantaged living conditions and type 2 diabetes, especially in refugee populations.

“Although the increased risk was small, we found that the effect accumulated over time,” said Dr. Justin White, lead author of the study. “The increased risk didn't develop immediately, which is consistent with the way neighbourhoods are thought to affect health and chronic diseases in particular.”

Explaining the links

Researchers believe the link between an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high-deprivation neighborhoods is due to a number of factors that includes constant exposure to stress from habitating in crime-filled communities, low income or difficulty finding employment. There are also limited healthy food choices at local supermarkets.

In the study, researchers looked at data from 61,386 immigrants who arrived in Sweden largely from North Africa and the Middle East. Over 7% of the immigrants living in underprivileged neighborhoods developed diabetes between 2002 and 2010. In comparison, 4-6% of the overall population in Sweden developed type 2 diabetes during the same time period.

"Because of the historically high numbers of incoming refugees, combined with already high unemployment rates, the new entrants are encountering less hospitable political and social environments.,” said White. “Our data suggest that decisions affecting the settlement and integration of immigrants can have long-term consequences for the health of the new arrivals, and that these societies may end up paying the price decades later if refugees do not receive adequate support up front.”

Source: EurekAlert!

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