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By Henrietta J. Burroughs             Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012          
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With the holidays approaching and with the variety of tempting foods this time of year brings, it is especially important, to watch one's food intake since diet is one factor in the onset of diabetes. The rate of diabetes in the United States is rising and it is expected to rise dramatically over the next few years.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a new report, which shows that diabetes increased by 50 percent or more in 42 states and by 100 percent or more in 18 states.

The prevalence of diabetes increased markedly between 1995 and 2010. Presently, 26 million people in the United States are living with diabetes and 79 million more are showing signs of being prediabetic.

Linda Geiss, a statistician with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation and lead author of the report, said "Regionally, we saw the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast."

The CDC report reinforced previous studies that showed diagnosed diabetes is highest in the southern and Appalachian states. The largest increases are currently in Oklahoma (226 percent), Kentucky (158 percent), Georgia (145 percent), Alabama (140 percent), and Washington (135 percent).

Type 2 diabetes, which may be prevented through lifestyle changes, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States. The CDC, along with national state and community health agencies is working on a variety of initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes and to reduce complications in those already diagnosed. The CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which brings a variety of programs for preventing type 2 diabetes to local communities.

In the East Palo Alto community, for example, the Ravenswood Family Health Center, works with local community organizations to increase awareness of the risks of diabetes and hypertension and to provide early detection through community screening events.

In a fact sheet about health disparities, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services reports, "The burden of diabetes is much greater for minority populations than the white population. For example, 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks, 10.6 percent of Mexican Americans, and 9.0 percent of American Indians have diabetes, compared with 6.2 percent of whites.Certain minorities also have much higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death, in some instances by as much as 50 percent more than the total population."

The CDC program is helping to establish a network of lifestyle-change classes for overweight or obese people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A National Diabetes Education Program (www.YourDiabetesInfo.orgDescription: xternal Web Site Icon) resources to improve the treatment and outcomes of people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

This week, the CDC introduced a new online tool, Diabetes Interactive Atlases (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/atlas), which allows the public to track the prevalence of diabetes nationally, in each state and at the county level. It also includes interactive motion charts showing trends in the growth of diabetes and obesity throughout the United States and within states.

For more information about diabetes and CDC's prevention efforts visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes.


Contact the author of this article, Henrietta J. Burroughs, by email at epatoday@epatoday.org