CDC Report: Number of U.S. Adults with Diabetes Has Skyrocketed

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the findings from its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Thursday, which focused on the prevalence of diabetes among American adults. The MMWR stated that the number of new cases of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, has risen dramatically in the last 15 years across the country, especially in some of the southern states.

The report looked at self-reported data collected from the participants of the study between the years of 1995 and 2010. The data was sorted and analyzed using a CDC system known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to determine whether or not the average rate of diabetes had increased over time, and if so, by how much.

Here is some of the key information to emerge from the CDC's latest MMWR release about diabetes.

* According to the MMWR, diabetes prevalence was higher than 6 percent of the adult population in only three states at the start of the study in 1995. Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., also had a greater than 6 percent prevalence of adult diabetes at that time.

* In 2010, at the conclusion of the study, every U.S. state, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., reported a prevalence of diabetes among its adult population that was greater than or equal to 6 percent. In addition, six states as well as Puerto Rico reported a prevalence of diabetes among their adult populations of greater than or equal to 10 percent.

* All of the participants in the study were 18 years or older. The study was conducted through telephone surveys.

* According to a report by Reuters regarding the study, Oklahoma was the state that had the largest increase in the percentage of adults living within its borders who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Kentucky was next, followed by Georgia, Alabama, Washington and West Virginia.

* Linda Geiss, the lead author of the study, told CNN on Thursday that she was surprised by the research team's findings, saying that the "level of increase was shocking to me." Specifically, Geiss was referring to the fact that the team found that the number of adults living with diabetes increased by at least 100 percent in 18 different states over the course of their research.

* The states that charted the highest percentage increases in the number of new diabetes cases also have had some of the highest increases in the number of adults who are considered obese, according to the CNN report.

* Geiss told CNN on Thursday that a person "should know that" they "can prevent the disease or delay it" by getting more exercise, adjusting their diet, and losing weight.

Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in health and nutrition issues.

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