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Oklahoma's Rate of Diabetes Triples in 16-Year Time Span

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There's plenty of bad news to go around much of the nation when it comes to the current rates of type 2 diabetes, but Oklahoma especially so, with a triple rate increase from 1995 through 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

CDC Research

The CDC wanted to learn what, if any, regions of the United States had different rates of diabetes than the nation as a whole and to be able to compare regional rates against each other. To this end, the agency used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for each of the years from 1995 through 2010.

People from every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico were asked, "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Randomized telephone calls were made to noninstitutionalized, non-military adults ages 18 and over to find the answer to the question in each of the 16 years of the survey. Diabetes in pregnancy only, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes answers were excluded from the counted results.

Oklahoma and Its Southern Neighbors

The median percentage of change in the increased rate of diabetes for the nation was determined to be an 82.2 percent increase. For the southern region of the country, including Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, the there was a median increase in the chronic disease of 104.2 percent -- the largest increase in all the regions of the United States.

Oklahoma, the state that experienced the highest rate of change in people diagnosed with diabetes, had an increase of 226.7 percent. While that statistic is astounding, the state's prevalence of adults with diabetes, at 9.8 in 2010, does not place it among the top 10 states in the nation in this category.

Bottom Line

As the nation's waistbands are expanding, the rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing. Linda Geiss, lead author of the CDC's diabetes survey, stated to the Associated Press , "The rise in diabetes has really gone hand in hand with the rise in obesity."

Public health officials are concerned about what can be done to stem the tide of type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disease if proper nutrition, exercise and weight management are followed. But health officials and care providers cannot accomplish this goal without the cooperation of each individual to take personal responsibility for his/her health.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

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