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Diabetes Belt

March 10, 2011 by USA Post 

Diabetes Belt, People living in parts of the United States are more likely to develop diabetes, according to ananlysis of the new government. Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that a broad band between U.S. states in the south has most of the time diabetes rates above percent, compared to 8.5 percent for the rest of countries.

“This is a region of the United States that we identified as the” belt of diabetes, “said study author Lawrence Barker, deputy director for science in the Division of Diabetes Translation at CDC in Atlanta. “People living within the belt are more likely to have diabetes than those who live outside the belt,” he said.

The CDC estimates that diabetes currently affects nearly 26 million American adults, or just over percent. There are two types of diabetes: type 1, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, and Type 2, formerly called adult onset diabetes.

Type 2 accounts for the majority of diabetics – perhaps as much as 95 percent of all cases, according to Barker – and the risk of type diabetes is influenced by genetics, weight and physical activity. Type 1 is considered an autoimmune disease. Weight and physical activity levels do not contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes, he noted.

Barker and his colleaguesanlyzed data from the United States Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and compared the data at the county level estimates of the prevalence of diabetes. These data sources do not allow researchers to break down the estimates by type of diabetes, Barker said.

As the U.S. “belt course”, discovered in the mid-1960s, the “belt of diabetes is mainly located in the southern states.

The belt is made up of diabetics with counties in states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, according to the study. The entire state of Mississippi made the cut.

People living in counties belt diabetes were more likely to be black (23.8 percent in counties belt diabetes compared to 8.6 percent in the rest of the country), and were more likely is obese (32.9 per cent in the belt of diabetes, compared to 26.1 percent in the rest of the country). And a sedentary lifestyle is more common in belt areas of diabetes nationally (30.6 per cent against 24.8 per cent, respectively).

The study also found that the number of people with a college degree was lower in counties belt diabetes than in the rest of the country: 24.1 percent compared to 34.3 percent.

The study results were published online on March 8 before publication in the April issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“We have identified a part of the country where people are at greater risk of developing diabetes. We may use this information to identify areas where the need for prevention is greatest, “said Barker.

“This study identifies an area where people are at high risk of diabetes, but there are other hot spots around the country, some areas such as Detroit or New York,” said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Center diabetes clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

“The study also indicates that nearly 30 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes is probably modified with improved nutrition and increased physical activity,” said Zonszein. It is also very important to diagnose the disease early and begin treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications, he added.

“Early diagnosis gives better results,” said Zonszein.

“For people who do not even type 2 diabetes, physical activity and weight loss can help reduce the risk of developing the disease, and people in the belt of diabetes are more at risk,” Barker advised.

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