Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Diabetes Belt' Tightens Around the South

By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Much of the South and Appalachia fall into the newly defined "diabetes belt" identified by CDC researchers, a section of country that nearly parallels the so-called stroke belt.

The 644 counties in the diabetes belt have a significantly higher prevalence of the disease than the rest of the country: 11.7% versus 8.5%, according to Lawrence Barker, PhD, of the CDC, and colleagues, who reported their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The diabetes belt includes portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

That's very similar to the stroke belt, the researchers say, but there are a few differences. For instance, much of West Virginia falls in the diabetes belt but not in the stroke belt. Conversely, Indiana is part of the stroke belt but not the diabetes belt.

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