Mississippi continues to lead the country in the overall prevalence of diabetes. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports on how health professionals are working to increase awareness of the crisis.
Doctors are blaming a southern sedentary lifestyle as a reason why Mississippians get diabetes at a higher rate than other Americans. Mississippi also ranks as one of the most overweight states. Dr. Lillian Lein is with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She says it's no surprise diabetes is so common in Mississippi.
"There is really a belief that - and this is in regard to type two diabetes - that how you live and move around every day can have an impact on who's developing it and how many can prevent it, versus going on to get the full-blown disease," says Dr. Lein.
Irena McClain is with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. She says diabetes disproportionately affects minorities in the state.
"You're looking at a state that has a significant population of Native Americans and African-Americans and a large Latino population now, and coupling that with how many people are overweight in our state. It kind of leads up to a perfect storm, if you will," says McClain.
McClain says the number of minorities and children diagnosed with diabetes each year in Mississippi continues to grow.
November is national diabetes awareness month.