CDC: Diabetes Rates Rocket In Okla., South

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File photo of a diabetes patient monitoring his blood glucose. (credit: ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a diabetes patient monitoring his blood glucose. (credit: ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s diabetes problem is getting worse, and health officials say the biggest changes have been in Oklahoma and a number of Southern states.

The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more than tripled over 15 years, and also boomed in Southern states like Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama.

Most cases are the kind of diabetes linked to obesity. Health officials believe extra weight explains the increases in the South and Southwest. They also say the rates overall are up because people with diabetes are living longer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the state report Thursday.

The diabetes rate more than doubled in several Northern states, too, including Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Maine.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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