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Southeastern United States On Top Again

Southeastern United States On Top Again

But, those states are not "winning" ....... you know, like Charlie Sheen.

Unfortunately, the Southeast, already known as the American "Stroke Belt", also makes up most of the "Diabetes Belt" in the United States.

"We have known for a long time that diabetes was more common in the Southeast than it was in the rest of the nation, but in many ways that's not an adequate definition," said Lawrence Barker of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, who led the work.

Having more specific data and a defined diabetes belt "allows us to identify areas where the need is greatest and where we can direct our attention and efforts to prevent and control diabetes," Barker said.

Mississippi is the only state fully in the belt that also includes portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Close to 12 percent of people in the diabetes belt had the disease, compared to 8.5 percent in the rest of the country, according to the new report, which appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

From the health surveys, the CDC researchers found that people living in the diabetes belt were more likely to be obese and have a sedentary lifestyle than people in the rest of the country.

The region also had more residents over 65, as well as a greater percentage of
African Americans, who are known to be at an increased risk of diabetes.

But even young people with a slim waistline were more likely to have diabetes if they lived in the belt than if they lived outside it, the researchers found.

Barker said it's still not clear why that is.

Cultural factors regarding diet, acccess to medical care and attitudes regarding medical care itself are possible explanations for the difference.

Check out the "Diabetes Belt" map here.

The full Reuters story is here.

Labels: Diet, General Diabetes, Obesity, Prevalence

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