CDC Designates Southern U.S. the “Diabetes Belt”

Today, March 11, 2011, 8 hours ago | Bob Curley

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have dubbed the American Southeast the “diabetes belt” for the region’s high prevalence of the disorder compared to the rest of the nation, Reuters Health reported March 8.

In the diabetes belt – which includes parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and all of Mississippi – almost 12 percent of residents had the disease, compared to a national average of 8.5 percent, the report found. They were also more likely to physically inactive and obese.

“We have known for a long time that diabetes was more common in the Southeast than it was in the rest of the nation,” said Lawrence Barker, the lead author of the study. Identifying a distinct diabetes belt “allows us to identify areas where the need is greatest and where we can direct our attention and efforts to prevent and control diabetes,” he said.

The report will appear in the April 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.