Goodarz Danaei, from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues combined the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
"Diabetes mellitus is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 70,000 annual deaths," Danaei said in a statement.
The study, published in the journal Population Health Metrics, found age-standardized diabetes prevalence was highest in Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia, ranging from 15.8 percent to 16.6 percent for men and 12.4 percent to 14.8 percent for women.
The lowest diabetes prevalences were found in Vermont, Minnesota, Montana and Colorado.
States with the highest diabetes prevalence in the analysis also have the highest levels of blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk, Danaei said.