The country’s diabetes epidemic has soared to a new level.
According to a study released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes increased by 50 percent or more in 42 states, and by 100 percent or more in 18 states between 1995 and 2010.
The South has seen the largest growth, the report says. The states with the largest increases are Oklahoma (226 percent), Kentucky (158 percent), Georgia (145 percent), Alabama (140 percent) and Washington (135 percent).
Lead study author Linda Geiss said that regionally, the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence following the South was in the West, Midwest and Northeast.
“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,” says Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “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. According to the CDC, more than a third of U.S. adults are now obese.