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General Health : Diseases Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

U.S. diabetes rate doubles in ten years -CDC
By David Liu, Ph.D.
Nov 1, 2008 - 2:30:37 PM

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Saturday November 1, 2008 ( -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report Thursday saying that the rate of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has nearly doubled in the past ten years.


The data published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report show that in the past decade, incidence (new cases) of diagnosed diabetes has increase from 0.48 percent during 1995-1997 to 0.91 percent in 2005-2007 in 33 states surveyed.


"This dramatic increase in the number of people with diabetes highlights the increasing burden of diabetes across the country," says lead author Karen Kirtland, Ph.D., a data analyst with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.


"This study demonstrates that we must continue to promote effective diabetes prevention efforts that include lifestyle interventions for people at risk for diabetes. Changes such as weight loss combined with moderate physical activity are important steps that individuals can take to reduce their risk for developing diabetes."


The data came from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which provides incidence rates of diabetes for 43 states and two U.S. territories, but only 33 states had data for both time periods.


The incidence of newly diagnosed diabetes varied from state to state. West Virginia was hit hardest where 1.27 percent of residents were newly diagnosed with the condition while Minnesota is the healthiest state where 0.50 percent was newly diagnosed with the disease.


Puerto Rico had 1.28 percent newly diagnosed during the 2005-2007 period. The worst states in addition to West Virginia included Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.


"This report documents the geographic distribution of new cases of diabetes and is consistent with previous studies showing an increase in new diabetes cases," said Kirtland.


"We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the Southern U.S. region where we see higher rates of diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity."


Diabetes that affects about 30 million of Americans may be caused by a variety of risk factors including older age, lower educational attainment, low physical activity, obesity, weight gain, according to the report.


Editorialists for the report say that obesity has been identified as a major risk factor in the increasing incidence of diabetes. Like the increased incidence of diabetes, obesity has also been on the rise.


It has been found early already that the rate of diabetes in the South was the highest. In the South, the prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity were also highest (27.3 %) with the highest prevalence (30%) found in three southern states: Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the editorialists said citing another CDC report.


The CDC report says that efforts to prevent diabetes should focus on people with high risk for type 2 diabetes, which account for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the U.S.   The authors of the report say "a 5%--10% reduction in body weight coupled with 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days a week resulted in a 58% reduction in diabetes over a 3-year period."


A health observer cautioned that obesity may be just a scapegoat for the increased prevalence of diagnosed diabetes.   Although obesity by itself may have a direct impact on the condition, what behind the obesity epidemic - diet and physical activity- may be more important.  


Arsenic in drinking water, persistent organic pollutants (most pesticides), drinking fruit juice, diet soda, soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), exposure to bisphenol A, PCBs, overeating, eating fatty foods, red meat and high sugar diet are some of risk factors that have been associated with increased risk of diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes - a condition in which cells do not use insulin properly to convert sugar to energy leading to buildup of sugar in the blood can cause complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and poor circulation in the feet.


Foods that help prevent diabetes or may help treat the condition include turmeric, vitamin K1, vitamin D, chamomile tea, Mediterranean diet, green leafy vegetables, legumes, soy food, red wine compound resveratrol, and tart cherries among others.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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