Phoebe Tran Doctoral Student Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology Yale School of Medicine

Study Finds Need For Increased Diabetes Screening in Rural Communities Interview with:
Phoebe Tran Doctoral Student Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology Yale School of MedicinePhoebe Tran
Doctoral Student
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Yale School of Medicine What is the background for this study?

Response: As the prevalence of diabetes risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity are considerably higher in US individuals residing in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts, rural residents face increased risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes screening is a useful tool that can be used to identify people with newly developed type 2 diabetes and offer them early treatment. In this study, we examined whether there are differences in diabetes screening levels between rural and urban areas across the US using nationally representative survey data from 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. What are the main findings? 

Response: We observed the following in our study:

  1. People who lived in urban, suburban, and rural areas all had similar levels of diabetes screening.
  2. There was a larger difference in diabetes screening levels between suburban residents and rural residents than between urban and rural residents. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The similar levels of diabetes screening seen for rural, suburban, and urban residents suggests a need for increased diabetes screening in rural populations that have a higher prevalence of diabetes risk factors than urban populations, are underserved, and oftentimes lack knowledge and resources with respect to diabetes prevention and treatment. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Further research is needed to pinpoint the specific reasons as to why diabetes screening levels are not higher in rural areas whether this is due to patient beliefs or healthcare systemic factors as well as the development of diabetes screening interventions specifically targeted towards rural US populations.   


BMC Public Health.

Impact of rurality on diabetes screening in the US Tran et al. BMC Public Health 2019

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-7491-9



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Last Updated on September 28, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD