In this article, I want to use the data from the CDI Diabetes dataset to explore the relationship between diabetes and its comorbidities: high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
My previous article discussed gender and ethnicity differences in prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related mortality rates for states encompassing the diabetes belt. This data came from the CDC’s Chronic Disease Indicators (CDI): Diabetes dataset, which provides a compilation of diabetes-related information for all states and territories from 2010 to 2018.
In this article, I want to use the data from the CDI Diabetes dataset to explore the relationship between diabetes and its comorbidities: high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Just like diabetes, these two comorbidities are known risk factors for heart disease. I would like to see if one comorbidity is more prevalent than the other, for adults with diagnosed diabetes in the diabetes belt. I would also like to see if there is a sex bias for prevalence of high blood pressure and prevalence high cholesterol among adults with diagnosed diabetes in the diabetes belt.
This exploratory data analysis was done in Jupyter Notebook/Python. The code used to produce these visualizations and statistical tests used in this article has been posted to GitHub here.
The diabetes belt, as described by Barker et al. in 2011, includes “Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, … Mississippi.” In my previous article, I focused on this subset of states, because these states are much more affected by diabetes than the rest of the country and allow for a more focused analysis. In this article, I am going to continue analyzing this data and drawing conclusions for states that constitute the diabetes belt only.
Before I begin, I want to provide some technical background on this topic. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are all risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure means that the blood flow in the blood vessels increases, making the heart work more and weakening the heart (American Heart Association, 2016). High levels of cholesterol (a fat found in the body) can occlude blood flow. If blood vessels are occluded with cholesterol, they become narrow and require a much a higher blood pressure to keep blood flowing, eventually weakening the heart and increasing the likelihood of heart disease. Thus, studying the prevalence of these comorbidities is important for population health research.
Similar to the previous article, I will continue analyzing data for 2017, because it the most recent year with available data.
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