CDC Blames Obesity for Rise in Diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said diabetes doubled in the last decade, and obesity is the reason for the increase.

Affecting more than 23 million Americans, diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the US, with more than a million and a half new cases diagnosed just last year. The highest rates were seen in the South with West Virginia being the worst hit where 13 in a 1000 adults were diagnosed with the disease in the years 2005-07.  Minnesota was the best off with 5 in a 1000 with the disease.

Dr. Wayne Evron of West Penn Hospital said, "The terms borderline diabetes, chemical diabetes, are no longer in sync with the modern teaching. In West Virginia, with all the poverty, a lot of times you see more obesity, and hence more diabetes."

Type 2 diabetes which is linked to obesity is on the rise because obesity causes the body to not process sugar and certain carbohydrates the right way.

The CDC arrived at the figures after a phone survey study of 260,000 adults led by Karen Kirtland, who was asked if a doctor had told them they had diabetes. As some people go undiagnosed there are fears that the figures could be much higher.

Nationally, the rate of new cases increased from about 5 per 1,000 in the mid-1990s to 9 per 1,000 in the middle of this decade.

The states of West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee had the highest rates while Minnesota, Hawaii and Wyoming had the lowest rates. Older people, blacks and Hispanics tend to have higher rates of Type 2 diabetes, which would explain the southern states being on the high list. West Virginia however being largely white was in contrast to the others.