Diabetes is a national epidemic and is especially prevalent in the South. The Diabetes Belt, identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011, spans counties in most of the Southern states and reaches up through Appalachia. It's been growing since then, according to the CDC, new counties are being added; the CDC has let out the belt another notch yet it cannot contain the strain. The geographic area affected closely mirrors the "stroke belt," and its population generally is more prone to developing not only diabetes but also other chronic diseases.
Nationwide, diabetes rates have nearly doubled in the past 20 years – from 5.5 percent in 1994 to 9.3 percent in 2012. In 2015, North Carolina had 10.7 percent of adults living with diabetes.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and is a serious health condition that increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation of the legs or feet.
Carolinas HealthCare System is working to reverse the diabetes trend in our community by focusing on prevention, identifying effective treatments and improving medical care. Our clinicians are sharing best practices so we can continue to see improvement in the more than 100,000 diabetic patients under our care.
In 2015, our clinicians effectively managed 74 percent of patients with diabetes and helped them keep their blood sugar under control, and 77.3 percent of patients had their blood pressure or hypertension under control.
Our efforts compared to national bench marks show we are performing in the highest percentiles in several key areas including: