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March 23, 2011 | 2 minute read

Diabetes (Belt) Woes

If you’re a regular AICR reader, you likely know there’s now a strong body of research linking diabetes to cancer risk. (A review of the evidence last year found that people with diabetes are approximately twice as likely to get cancers of the liver, pancreas and endometrium.)

But the research showing the dangers of diabetes keeps emerging. One of those studies is highlighted in today’s issue of Cancer Research Update. The study found that people with type 2 diabetes were at increased risk of premature death from cancer, but they were also more likely to have a mental disease, along with many other health disorders. Kidney disease, pneumonia, and nervous-system disorders were a few of the other ills cited.

A 50-year-old with diabetes died, on average, six years earlier than his/her counterpart without the disorder.

And although the incidence of diabetes keeps growing throughout the United States, another study has identified a group of southern states and a handful of its neighbors as the diabetes belt of our country. This belt includes portions of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the entire state of Mississippi.

The study was published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Obesity and sedentary lifestyle were two factors greater in the diabetes belt compared to the rest of the country. And these factors are modifiable.

For tips on eating healthy and moving more, visit our Reduce Your Risk.

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