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Prevalence of Diabetes and Associated Obesity in Pennsylvania Adults, 1995–2010
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    Introduction

    This study examined trends in the prevalence and sociodemographic distributions of diabetes and the associations of diabetes with obesity over time in adult Pennsylvanians from 1995 through 2010.

    Methods

    We used Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data collected from 1995 through 2010. Diabetes prevalence was assessed by self-report of physician diagnosis. Obesity was assessed by body mass index computed from self-report of height and weight. State-level data for diabetes and associated obesity prevalence from 1995 through 2010 were collected for each year. Data on sociodemographic factors (age, sex, race, income, education) and 1 known disease risk factor (obesity) were also collected. Logistic regression modeling was used to examine associations between diabetes, sociodemographic factors, and obesity.

    Results

    Diabetes prevalence in Pennsylvania, which increased from 5.6% in 1995 to 10.5% in 2010, followed national trends but exceeded the national prevalence each year by approximately 0.6 percentage points for 12 of the 16 years. The increase in prevalence was not equal across all socioeconomic groups. Obesity became a more dominant risk factor for diabetes during these 16 years.

    Conclusion

    The burden of diabetes and obesity in Pennsylvania is substantial and increasing. Program managers and policy makers in Pennsylvania should consider these trends when allocating limited resources and designing programs for reducing diabetes-related illness. Other states may consider similar studies to monitor the prevalence of diabetes and determine whether disparities are changing and whether programs and resources should also shift.