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Diabetes rate doubled in last 10 years

October 31, 2008
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ATLANTA - The rate of new diabetes cases nearly doubled in the United States in the last 10 years, with the highest levels in the South, the government said yesterday in its first state-by-state review of new diagnoses.

The highest rate was in West Virginia, where about 13 in 1,000 adults were diagnosed with the disease. The lowest was in Minnesota, where the rate is 5 in 1,000.

About 90 percent of the cases are Type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity. The findings echo geographic trends seen with obesity and physical inactivity, which are also tied to heart disease. Southern states rank worst in those measures, too.

The study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covered most states.

More than 23 million Americans have diabetes. The number is growing quickly. About 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed in people 20 or older last year, according to the CDC.

Some studies have offered state-specific estimates of diabetes cases, but this is the first to chart where new cases are being diagnosed.

The study involved a random-digit-dialed survey of more than 260,000 adults. Participants were asked whether they had ever been told by a doctor that they have diabetes, and when the diagnosis was made.

The annual rate of new diabetes cases rose from about 5 per 1,000 in the mid-1990s to 9 per 1,000 in the mid-2000s, according to data gathered for 33 states for which CDC had complete data for both time periods.

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