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Keywords

Disparities, Diabetes prevention, GIS, Collaborative, Texas, Dallas

Abstract

The State of Texas is home to nearly 2 million men, women and children with diabetes, over half a million of which reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) region. Recognizing the rising need to identify the disparities in implementing the diabetes prevention and management efforts and adopting the healthy life style in high diabetes prevalence areas in Dallas County, we explored the potential of Geographic Information System (GIS) methodology to analyze the data at zip code level from Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Research Foundation’s data registry. The objectives of this research were to identify the zip codes with the highest prevalence of diabetes in Dallas County and to analyze the disparities that may relate to the higher diabetes prevalence. The process revealed the zip codes with the highest prevalence of diabetes and the disparities possibly influencing the higher prevalence. The results showed that the zip codes with the highest prevalence of diabetes had very few fresh food and supermarkets, food banks, parks, sidewalks and hospitals and clustered medical clinics, indicating that addressing these disparities may be a promising strategy for decreasing the prevalence of diabetes in these diabetes clusters in Dallas County. The strength of this research is DFWHC research Foundation’s comprehensive data registry which allowed us to analyze the patient data up to the zip code level to identify the high diabetes prevalence areas. Our results have significance in the realm of public health and health care. With the identification of the contributing disparities in the high diabetes prevalence in Dallas County, public health efforts and resources can be more efficiently targeted and focused for prevention and management. Also in the future, we support improvements in health care data-sharing in order to improve coordinate care between different health care providers to prevent diabetes at an early stage and provide coordinated care at treatment and management stage.


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