On November 2nd, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published a scientific review addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) and diabetes.
Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation Research (WU-CDTR) Director, Dr. Debra Haire-Joshu, co-chaired the ADA-convened writing committee which sought to understand the impact of addressing SDOH on diabetes risk and outcomes, as well as the impacts of interventions on these determinants. The committee focused on the influence of five determinants, which were represented in one or more existing SDOH frameworks: socioeconomic status; neighborhood and physical environment; food environment; health care; and social context.
The ADA committee summarized the following recommendations from international and U.S. national committees that have convened to provide guidance on SDOH intervention approaches:
- establish consensus core SDOH definitions and metrics,
- examine specificities in SDOH pathways and impacts among different populations with diabetes,
- prioritize a next generation of research that targets SDOH as the root cause of diabetes inequities,
- use dissemination and implementation (D&I) science to ensure SDOH considerations are embedded within diabetes research and evaluation studies, and
- train researchers in methodological and experimental techniques for multisector and next generation SDOH intervention studies.
When asked about the review’s connection to the current work of the WU-CDTR, Dr. Haire-Joshu noted, “This [review] is an important step in the collective efforts to achieve health equity through the next generation of diabetes translation research. At the WU-CDTR, we are dedicated to supporting the our members as they work to address the root causes of diabetes inequities. Our investigators are moving the needle in defining SDOH metrics, identifying effective strategies to address SDOH through multi-sector partnerships, and incorporating D&I strategies within diabetes research. ”