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Dramatic increase in US diabetes rates

The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes in the United States is soaring, according to a new government report.
Figures from the ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’ by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that cases of diabetes rocketed by 50 per cent or more in 42 US states, and by 100 per cent or more in 18 states between 1995 and 2010.
By 2010, the disease affected some 25.8 million Americans, including 7 million who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes but were unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).
According to the study, the surge in diabetes is in line with the country’s growing obesity rates, which have reached epidemic proportions.
“These rates will continue to increase until effective interventions and policies are implemented to prevent both diabetes and obesity,” Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translatio, said in a statement.
Out of all the states, Oklahoma saw the largest increase in diabetes cases over the 16 years (up 226 per cent), followed by Kentucky (up 158 per cent), Georgia (up 145 per cent), Alabama (up 140 per cent), Washington (up 135 per cent) and West Virginia (up 131 per cent).
Linda Geiss, a statistician with CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and lead author of the study, said the results support previous studies showing that most diabetics live in the southern and Appalachian states.
While most of the increase in diabetic cases is due to more people developing the condition, the report does note that part of the rise may be attributed to improvements in diabetes treatments and medical care, resulting in better survival rates among people with the disease.

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