Addressing the social determinants of health may improve diabetes outcomes, according to a review published in the July issue of Health Affairs.
Leonard E. Egede, M.D., from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating nonmedical interventions (e.g., those targeting social determinants of health) to reduce risk and improve clinical outcomes for type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that interventions with targeted, multicomponent designs that combine both medical and nonmedical approaches can reduce risk and improve clinical outcomes for type 2 diabetes. Food supplementation with referral and diabetes support; financial incentives with education and skills training; housing relocation with counseling support; and the integration of nonmedical interventions into medical care using the electronic medical record all were associated with significant improvement in hemoglobin A1C.
"Actionable strategies outlined in this article may be used as a guide to build that empirical foundation to improve clinical outcomes for adults with type 2 diabetes," write the authors. "Multiple policy opportunities also exist that have the potential to target structural inequalities in health as pathways to decrease social risk and improve health outcomes for this segment of the U.S. population."