A region of the Southeastern United States was given a title of “the stroke belt” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back in the early 1960’s. Researchers with the health agency have noted that many of those same states also have a high incidence of Type 2 diabetes, so they have identified 644 counties in 15 states that are now aptly named “The Diabetes Belt.”
The Diabetes Belt includes counties in portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The states that overlap into the Stroke Belt includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
While York County itself is not included in the “Diabetes Belt”, the surrounding counties of Chester, Lancaster, and Cherokee Counties are. York County has an estimated 8.8% of adults living with diagnosed diabetes as of 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dark red portions of this county-by-county map show that high rates of diabetes are common in the South and in Appalachia. Researchers hope that a defined diabetes belt will help public health officials target areas for intervention.
Lawrence E. Barker, PhD, Karen A. Kirtland, PhD, Edward W. Gregg, PhD, Linda S. Geiss, MA, and Theodore J. Thompson, MS. Geographic Distribution of Diagnosed Diabetes in the U.S.: A Diabetes Belt. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 40, Issue 4 (April 2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.12.019