U.S. diabetes prevalence soars post-1995

Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Diabetes diagnoses increased by 50 percent or more in 42 states -- and 100 percent or more in 18 states -- between 1995 and 2010, U.S. health officials say.

The report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found states with the largest increases were Oklahoma at 226 percent, Kentucky at 158 percent, Georgia at 145 percent and Alabama at 140 percent.

"Regionally, we saw the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast," lead author Linda Geiss, a statistician with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, said in a statement. "These data also reinforce findings from previous studies, which indicate that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes is highest in the southern and Appalachian states."

Geiss and colleagues used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual telephone survey of health behaviors and conditions of U.S. adults.

"In 1995, only three states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had a diagnosed diabetes prevalence of 6 percent or more. By 2010, all 50 states had a prevalence of more than 6 percent," Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, said. "These rates will continue to increase until effective interventions and policies are implemented to prevent both diabetes and obesity."

Type 2 diabetes, which may be prevented through lifestyle changes, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States, the researchers said.

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