According to Reuters, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States between 1995 and 2010. A study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes grew by 50% or more in 42 U.S. states, and by 100% or more in 18 states. In 2010, 18.8 million Americans had been diagnosed with diabetes and another 7 million had undetected diabetes, according to the CDC. States with the largest increases over the 16-year period were Oklahoma, up 226%; Kentucky, up 158%; Georgia, up 145%; Alabama, up 140%, Washington, up 135%, and West Virginia, up 131%.
“Regionally, we saw the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast,” said Linda Geiss, lead author of the report and Statistician with CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
Although much of the increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is likely due to more people developing the condition, the study also notes that diabetes treatments have improved, which may mean that more people are living longer with their disease. Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented through lifestyle changes, accounts for 90–95% of all diabetes cases in the United States, according to the CDC.