« Sixty Percent of Largest US Cities Smoke Free | Main | 5-Hour Energy Drinks Cited in 13 Deaths »

Diabetes Cases Skyrocketing in US, CDC Finds

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of diabetes cases in the U.S. is skyrocketing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says 18 states saw at least a doubling of diabetes diagnoses between 1995 and 2010 -- and at least a 50 percent increase in 42 states.

The largest increase in patients with diabetes was reported in the South. The states with the largest increases were Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Washington, according to findings published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“Regionally, we saw the largest increase in diagnosed diabetes prevalence in the South, followed by the West, Midwest, and Northeast,” said Linda Geiss, with the CDC.

“This is truly an epidemic,” said ABC News senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

“The CDC estimates that by the year 2050, as many as one in every three American adults will have diabetes,” Ashton said, “and largely we're talking about type two diabetes, which is directly linked to obesity.”

“We know that obesity is linked to a multitude of cancers, increased risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” Ashton said. “This is something we have to turn around or we will be paying the price both medically and economically."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio