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U.S. Diabetes Rates Soaring: CDC
Date:11/15/2012

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According to the report, the states with the biggest increases were mainly clustered in the South, with Oklahoma (226 percent), Kentucky (158 percent), Georgia (145 percent), and Alabama (140 percent) faring worst.

But states everywhere showed increases in diabetes prevalence, including regions such as the West, Midwest and the Northeast.

"The CDC has long since warned us that, should current trends persist, as many as one out of three Americans could be diabetic by mid-century," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

The result would be a "staggering" figure -- well over 100 million people with diabetes and representing a cost in both human and economic terms that is apt to be unbearable, he said. "This report shows us that ominous trend is well under way," he added.

According to the CDC, more than a third (35.7 percent) of U.S. adults are now obese, and as with diabetes the highest rates of obesity are in the South.

Obesity has not only been tied to diabetes, but to heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. Diabetes can lead to loss of vision, circulation problems resulting in amputations and kidney disease, the CDC noted.

Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly tied to obesity, makes up 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States.

"Virtually all of this burden of disease could be eliminated," Katz said. "At the population level, diabetes is deemed to be preventable at least 90 percent of the time. Individual risk can be reduced by as much."

"A worsening epidemic of diabetes is engulfing us," he added. "We have the knowledge we need of what works, but have thus far failed to apply it effectively."

For the study, researchers used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual phone survey of adults in the United States.

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