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    Diabetes: Causation & Epidemiology in the NJ state

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    1. Is diabetes tied to either infectious, chronic, gynecological or STI, environmental, cultural or geographic factors? Please explain
    2. Provide the specific descriptive epidemiological aspects of diabetes as it relates to the state of New Jersey. Please explain

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    Dear Student,

    There are two forms of diabetes with completely different causes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where your own T-cells attack and destroy the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, so it is characterized by insulin insufficiency. Type 2, on the other hand, is characterized by insulin resistance, where the insulin receptor on the cell surfaces is unable to bind to insulin effectively. These two diseases, while with similar symptoms, have different mechanisms and susceptibility factors.

    There is genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes, but onset is triggered by environmental factors. Since the pathogenesis is centered around the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, these environmental factors have to be directly associated with these cells. A type of infection associated with damage to these cells, and therefore progression to disease, is the enterovirus genus of viruses. The correlation is two-fold: the Coxsackie B4 virus, an enterovirus, shares homology (similarity) with a peptide (protein) on the beta ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution provides a brief review of the mechanism and causation of diabetes type 1 & 2, with a discussion of risk factors and epidemiology as it applies to the state of NJ.