Wednesday, March 9. 2011
People living in Southern states have a higher risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that described that region as the nation's "diabetes belt."
Southern states have diabetes rates that surpass 11 percent, compared to 8.5 percent in the rest of the country. The research, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found that residents of southern states are more likely to be obese and live a sedentary lifestyle, both risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Almost 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes. However, the study reported that as many as 95 percent of those people have type 2, or adult onset diabetes. Type 1 is believed to be an autoimmune disease and is not influenced by the same factors.
Study author Lawrence Barker said the information can be used to identify which sections of the country are in the greatest need of preventative programs to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Being overweight is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, as the Mayo Clinic reports cells become more resistant to insulin as fatty tissue increases.
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