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Researchers Identify US Diabetes Belt.

The CNN (3/7, Willingham) “The Chart” blog reported that “in April’s issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers have been able to identify a ‘diabetes belt’ of 644 counties in 15 US states. Located primarily in the southeastern part of the country, the belt defines where diabetes care and prevention are most needed.” The blog entry noted that the “belt includes portions of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the entire state of Mississippi.”
Focusing on the demographics involved, WebMD (3/7, Hendrick) reported that “researchers identified four factors that distinguished the diabetes belt from the rest of the US.” Notably, “the population of the diabetes belt counties contained substantially more non-Hispanic African-Americans than the rest of the country,” nearly a third of the people in the diabetes belt were considered to be obese, just over 30% of people in “diabetes belt counties were judged to lead sedentary lifestyles,” and only about a quarter of the people there had a college degree, compared to just over a third in the remaining portion of the US. Reuters (3/8, Pittman) also covers the story.