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This Is How Diabetes Swept The Nation

Posted: November 16, 2012

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Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent. An interactive map shows how much worse diabetes has become in less than a generation.

The march of diabetes across the nation.

The march of diabetes across the nation. Stephanie d'Otreppe

When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.

In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.

How much have things changed?

Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.

In 1995, diabetes prevalence among adults was 6 percent or greater in only three states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. By 2010, diabetes had increased everywhere. And in every state the prevalence was at least 6 percent.

It's one thing to hear about the problem or to look at a sea of statistics. But we figured a map built on the state-by-state figures from the CDC might make the dramatic rise in diabetes easier to grasp.

So we created an interactive one from the prevalence figures for diagnosed diabetes, adjusted for age, that were collected in nationwide telephone surveys. Flip through the map to see how much worse diabetes has become in less than a generation.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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