The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The terrifying rise of diabetes, in every corner of the U.S.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., due to sugary diets and the lack of exercise. If current disease rates continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Over time, the condition can lead to kidney failure, limb amputations and blindness, among other complications.

That Data Dude created this interactive map showing the percent of the current population that has been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colorado stands out by far as the healthiest state by this measure: In many of its counties, 4 percent or less of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes. South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina are at the opposite end of the scale. In counties in South Dakota, North Carolina, and Mississippi more than 14 percent of the population had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2012.

The map shows that only 10 counties in the U.S. experienced a decrease in diabetes rates between 2004 and 2012:

McCracken County, Kentucky
Arlington County, Virginia
Hawaii County, Hawaii
Beckham County, Oklahoma
San Francisco County, California
Roosevelt County, Montana
Cuming County, Nebraska
Mellette County, South Dakota
Preston County, West Virginia
Logan County, Nebraska

In five more counties, in Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, rate remained unchanged. But in all the other counties in the U.S. – that’s 2,992 of them – diabetes prevalence has gone up.

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