We compared the risk of diabetes for residents of Appalachian counties to that of residents of non-Appalachian counties after controlling for selected risk factors in states containing at least 1 Appalachian county.
We combined Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 2006 and 2007 and conducted a logistic regression analysis, with self-reported diabetes as the dependent variable. We considered county of residence (5 classifications for Appalachian counties, based on economic development, and 1 for non-Appalachian counties), age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, household income, smoking status, physical activity level, and obesity to be independent variables. The classification “distressed” refers to counties in the worst 10%, compared with the nation as a whole, in terms of 3-year unemployment rate, per capita income, and poverty.
Controlling for covariates, residents in distressed Appalachian counties had 33% higher odds (95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.60) of reporting diabetes than residents of non-Appalachian counties. We found no significant differences between other classifications of Appalachian counties and non-Appalachian counties.
Residents of distressed Appalachian counties are at higher risk of diabetes than are residents of other counties. States with distressed Appalachian counties should implement culturally sensitive programs to prevent diabetes.
Barker L, Crespo R, Gerzoff RB, Denham S, Shrewsberry M, Cornelius-Averhart D. Residence in a distressed county in Appalachia as a risk factor for diabetes, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2007. Prev Chronic Dis 2010;7(5). http://www.cdc.gov/PCD/issues/2010/sep/pdf/09_0203.pdf Accessed [date].