A new federal report manifested a staggering increase in diabetes prevalence rates across the United States over fifteen years.
According to a HealthDay article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report showed type 2 diabetes cases in eighteen states have doubled during the 15-year period covered by the study, and in 42 states the rate jumped by 50 percent.
The report appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual phone survey of adults in the United States. They found that the states with the biggest increases were those in the South, such as Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama.
“I was shocked myself,” said lead researcher Linda Geiss, a statistician in CDC’s division of diabetes translation. “We know diabetes has been increasing for decades, but to see 18 states having an increase of 100 percent was shocking.”
Geiss said the surging cases of obesity is the main cause of the soaring number of type 2 diabetes in the nation. While in 1995 only three states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had diabetes prevalence rates of six percent or more, by 2010 diabetes rates in all fifty states had reached that level.
In the U.S., type 2 diabetes makes up 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases.
“This is an unnecessary epidemic due to obesity,” said Dr. Stuart Weinerman, from the division of endocrinology at North Shore University Hospital/Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “From a public health perspective, we better be prepared if we allow people to continue to be obese, to spend huge amounts of money on taking care of patients.”
The CDC noted that obesity has not only been tied to diabetes, but also to several other serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.