Rates of diabetes in the United States have skyrocketed over the last two decades according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1995, just three states—California, Louisiana, and Mississippi—had a diabetes prevalence rate of 6% or higher. But in the November 16, 2012 release of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC revealed that every single state now has a diabetes prevalence rate of 6% or higher. Additionally, the prevalence rate peaked at 10% for six states.
The MMWR report, which analyzed self-reported data collected by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1995-2010, determined that the diabetes prevalence rate increased by 50% or higher in 42 of the states. The South fared the worst, with Oklahoma (226.7%), Kentucky (158.3%), Georgia (145.0%), and Alabama (140.4%) seeing the highest increases over the 15-year period.
Obesity, which is often linked with type 2 diabetes, may be the culprit, as Americans’ waistlines have expanded in recent years due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Going forward, obesity prevention measures will be key in lowering these alarming prevalence rates across the country.