Diabetes Cases Almost Doubled Over 10 Years, CDC Statistics Show
New cases of diabetes have almost doubled in 10 years, a trend exacerbated by high rates of obesity, according to a new CDC study published in the agency Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Bloomberg/Salt Lake Tribune reports (Randall, Bloomberg/Salt Lake Tribune, 10/30).
For the study, more than 260,000 people in 40 states were surveyed using random-digit dialing and asked if and when they had ever been diagnosed with diabetes. Only 33 of the states were surveyed in the 1995-1997 and 2005-2007 studies (Stobbe, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/30).
The report, led by CDC researcher Karen Kirtland, found that U.S. diabetes cases increased from 4.8 for every 1,000 people in 1995 through 1997 to 9.1 cases per 1,000 people in 2005 through 2007. The report was the first of its kind to provide detailed state-by-state results.
West Virginia had the highest rate of diabetes -- 13 of every 1,000 people -- while Minnesota had the lowest -- five out of 1,000.
States with the highest rates of diabetes, adjusted for age, were largely in the South, including:
- South Carolina;
- Tennessee; and
- Texas (Bloomberg/Salt Lake Tribune, 10/30).
Southern states also rank high in measures of obesity and lack of exercise, according to the AP/San Francisco Chronicle.
Older people, Hispanics and blacks were found to have higher rates of type 2 diabetes, and the South has large concentrations of all three groups. Diabetes was the nation's seventh-leading cause of death in 2006, according to CDC.
More than 23 million U.S. residents currently have diabetes and about 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed last year. The AP/Chronicle reports that the "findings dovetail with trends seen in obesity and lack of exercise" (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/30).
The report states, "Interventions that promote weight loss and increased physical activity among persons at high risk for diabetes are needed to reduce diabetes incidence" (Venezia, New York Post, 10/31).
Kirtland said, "We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the southern U.S.," adding, "Changes such as weight loss combined with moderate physical activity are important steps" (Bloomberg/Salt Lake Tribune, 10/30).
Matt Petersen, who oversees data and statistics at the American Diabetes Association, said, "It isn't surprising the problem is heaviest in the South -- no pun intended."
Angela Liese, a diabetes researcher at the University of South Carolina, said the results could be understating the matter because the survey was limited to diagnosed cases.Experts estimate that one in four diabetes cases have not been diagnosed, according to Liese (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/30). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.