US Citizens: The State You Live In May Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes

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With the spread of processed foods and sugary snacks in modern times, it is no surprise there has been an increase in diseases. Some regions of the world seem to be more heavily affected by this problem than others, even within the same country. In the United States, data analysis has revealed that the state you reside in can play a significant role in determining how likely you are, statistically speaking, to get diabetes. In this article, we’ll explore what regions of the country are most affected by diabetes, and practical steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting the disease.


A recap on diabetes

Before delving into the data, let’s do a quick review of what we’re talking about. Diabetes is a disease. There are two primary forms of diabetes, type 1 and 2. Type 1 is a very rare condition where the body does not produce its own insulin. Only 5 percent of diabetics have this form, and diet and lifestyle don’t play a role in whether or not someone develops it, so this condition will not be the focus of this discussion.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is by far the most common, and is directly linked to and affected by the dietary habits of those who have it. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body produces too much blood sugar, otherwise known as hyperglycemia. In addition to this, people with type 2 diabetes are unable to use the insulin their body produces properly, a condition referred to as insulin resistance, which makes the blood sugar problem even worse.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include vision problems, weight loss, increased hunger and thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, and dark patches forming on the skin. It also leads to an increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

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Prevalence of type 2 diabetes by state

According to a survey conducted by Gallup-Healthways in 2015 on over 175,000 adults in the United States, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes by state is as follows:

    1. Utah: 7.4 percent
    2. Rhode Island: 7.6 percent
    3. Colorado: 7.9 percent
    4. Minnesota: 8.4 percent
    5. Montana: 8.7 percent
    6. Alaska: 8.8 percent
    7. Massachusetts: 8.9 percent
    8. Vermont: 8.9 percent
    9. Nebraska: 9.1 percent
    10. Wyoming: 9.3 percent
    11. New Hampshire: 9.4 percent
    12. Idaho: 9.7 percent
    13. Connecticut: 9.8 percent
    14. Washington: 10.1 percent
    15. New Mexico: 10.1 percent
    16. California: 10.2 percent
    17. Iowa: 10.2 percent
    18. Nevada: 10.2 percent
    19. Oregon: 10.3 percent
    20. Wisconsin: 10.4 percent
    21. New Jersey: 10.4 percent
    22. Illinois: 10.5 percent
    23. South Dakota: 10.5 percent
    24. North Dakota: 10.8 percent
    25. Virginia: 10.8 percent
    26. Delaware: 10.8 percent
    27. Kansas: 10.9 percent
    28. Hawaii: 11.1 percent
    29. New York: 11.1 percent
    30. Arizona: 11.3 percent
    31. Maine: 11.5 percent
    32. Pennsylvania: 11.8 percent
    33. Texas: 11.8 percent
    34. Florida: 11.9 percent
    35. Maryland: 11.9 percent
    36. Michigan: 12.0 percent
    37. Indiana: 12.2 percent
    38. Georgia: 12.7 percent
    39. Oklahoma: 12.9 percent
    40. Louisiana: 13.5 percent
    41. North Carolina: 13.5 percent
    42. Missouri: 13.5 percent
    43. Ohio: 13.5 percent
    44. Kentucky: 13.7 percent
    45. Arkansas: 14.1 percent
    46. South Carolina: 14.4 percent
    47. Tennessee: 14.4 percent
    48. Mississippi: 15.6 percent
    49. West Virginia: 16.1 percent
    50. Alabama: 16.1 percent

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What can be done to reduce your risk?

Here’s the good news: even if you live in an area with very high levels of diabetes, the steps you would take to reduce your risks of getting it are the same. Some people are more genetically predisposed to the disease, so be aware of your family medical history to get a better understanding of your risk.

Cut back on sugar. It cannot be said enough. Things like soda, fake maple syrup, and candy are extremely unhealthy and can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Don’t worry about the latest trendy diet. Just make good choices with your food. Everything stems from that. In particular, getting more fiber and choosing whole grain foods (for example, whole wheat pasta versus normal pasta) can help reduce your risk.

Getting plenty of exercise is also important. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a contributing factor to developing type 2 diabetes, so try to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. Even just going for a walk is better than nothing. Physical activity will help normalize blood sugar levels and tackle all the problems which contribute to diabetes at once. Being overweight also increases your risk. Adopting the above recommendations is a comprehensive approach to improving your health, because losing weight will help protect you from diabetes, and following a healthy diet will also help you lose weight. It’s synergistic.


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Remember—nothing tastes as good as healthy feels, and if you develop type 2 diabetes, you won’t think eating those sweets was worth it. For most people, being healthy is a choice. Choose to be healthy, and guard against diabetes, regardless of where you live.