A woman prepares to give herself an insulin injection April 29 at her home in Commerce, Calif. Diabetes rates increased across the country, according to new government data.(Photo: Reed Saxon, AP)
NEW YORK -- The nation's diabetes problem is getting worse, and
the biggest jump over 15 years was in Oklahoma, according to a new
federal report issued Thursday.
The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more
than tripled, and Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama also saw dramatic
increases since 1995, the study showed.
The South's growing weight
problem is the main explanation, said Linda Geiss, lead author of the
report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
"The rise in diabetes has really gone hand in hand with the rise in obesity," she said.
Bolstering the numbers is the fact that more people with diabetes are living longer because better treatments are available.
disease exploded in the United States in the last 50 years, with the
vast majority from obesity-related Type 2 diabetes. In 1958, fewer than 1
in 100 Americans had been diagnosed with diabetes. In 2010, it was
about 1 in 14.
Most of the increase has happened since 1990.
is a disease in which the body has trouble processing sugar; it's the
nation's seventh leading cause of death. Complications include poor
circulation, heart and kidney problems and nerve damage.
The new study is the CDC's first in more than a decade to look at how the nationwide boom has played out in different states.
based on telephone surveys of at least 1,000 adults in each state in
1995 and 2010. Participants were asked if a doctor had ever told them
they have diabetes.
Not surprisingly, Mississippi - the state with
the largest proportion of residents who are obese - has the highest
diabetes rate. Nearly 12% of Mississippians say they have diabetes,
compared to the national average of 7%.
But the most dramatic
increases in diabetes occurred largely elsewhere in the South and in the
Southwest, where rates tripled or more than doubled. Oklahoma's rate
rose to about 10%, Kentucky went to more than 9%, Georgia to 10% and
Alabama surpassed 11%.
Several Northern states saw rates more than
double, too, including Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South
Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Maine.
The study was published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.