NC among 15 states in “diabetes belt”

Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and county-level estimates of diabetes prevalence, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified counties in 15 states, primarily in the Southeast, that have diabetes prevalence rates at or above 11%, compared to 8.5% for the rest of the country. Counties in this so-called “diabetes belt” are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Researchers also examined the excess risk associated with living in the diabetes belt, in relation to both modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors. Awareness of the increased risk for developing diabetes in this region could be used to improve prevention efforts and early diagnosis. The study is published in the April 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Lawrence E. Barker, PhD, Karen A. Kirtland, PhD, Edward W. Gregg, PhD, Linda S. Geiss, MA, and Theodore J. Thompson, MS. Geographic Distribution of Diagnosed Diabetes in the U.S.: A Diabetes Belt. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 40, Issue 4 (April 2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.12.019

The 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet and NC county-level estimates of diabetes are available from the CDC’s Diabetes Data & Trends site, a feature of its Diabetes Public Health Resource.