Rural Counties With High Rates of Diabetes
Compared to the rest of the nation, the people of Appalachia have higher rates of diabetes, as well as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The rate of diabetes is even higher for residents of 78 rural counties classified as socioeconomically “distressed.” Overall, rates in these counties are 1.4 times higher than the rates of people living in other parts of the country.
The Appalachian Diabetes Control and Translation Projectexternal icon, supported in part by CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, seeks to prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce diabetes complications in distressed counties. The project works to improve access and increase participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) for people with prediabetes.
The CDC-led National DPP is a public-private partnership working to build a nationwide system to deliver an affordable, evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Participants in the lifestyle change program learn to make healthy food choices, be more physically active, and find ways to cope with problems and stress. In 2017, CDC released new funding to expand the National DPP in underserved areas, more than half of which are rural.
The Appalachian Diabetes Control and Translation Project also works to increase access to diabetes self-management education and support for rural residents with diabetes. These services help people manage their diabetes by eating healthy food, being active, checking their blood sugar, taking medicines, and handling stress.