West Virginia is the U.S. state with the most people who have ever been diagnosed with diabetes
. Currently, 15.2 percent of West Virginians have diabetes or have had diabetes at one point in their lives. In Puerto Rico, the number is even higher at 17.2 percent, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of CDC numbers
While so-called Type 1 diabetes is typically a life-long autoimmune and genetic affliction and accounts for five to ten percent of all diabetes cases, Type 2 diabetes is the bigger factor. This type of diabetes is caused by obesity and lack of exercise (even though a genetic predisposition also exists) and is reversible. Yet, the number of people affected by Type 2 diabetes is rising in the U.S. and around the world as a result of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.
The states most affected by diabetes are located in the South and the Great Lakes region. The Rocky Mountains were the region affected the least, with Alaska, New Hampshire, Vermont and Minnesota also reporting low numbers.