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Obesity Fueling Rise In Diabetes Rates: Study

Update Date: Sep 03, 2014 09:31 AM EDT

The U.S. obesity epidemic is one of the driving forces behind the rising rates of type 2 diabetes, a new study has found. 

Researchers analyzed data from five national surveys spanning from 1976 through 2010 to determine how much the increase in diabetes over time could be explained by factors like changing distribution of race, age and obesity. 

Researchers noted that the prevalence of diabetes in men rose from about 5 percent to more than 11 percent. In women, the rise was under 6 percent to nearly 9 percent. While evaluating the factors that might contribute to rising diabetes rates, obesity stood out.

However, according to researchers, it only explained about half the increase. 

"Overweight and obesity explained most of the increase in the prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. during this time period," said study researcher Andy Menke, an epidemiologist with Social & Scientific Systems, a private research organization, in the press release.

The other factors they looked at-age, race and ethnicity-"had little influence on changes in diabetes prevalence [during the study time period]," he added.

The study is published in the Sept. 2 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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