Background: People in the Appalachian region of KY face serious and unique health challenges influenced by socioeconomic status, rural location, and culture. Diabetes prevalence in the Appalachian region of KY is known to be consistently higher when compared to national and state-wide rates.

Objectives: Determine the prevalence trend of diabetes in the Appalachian Region of KY in the last five years and compare it with the prevalence rate in Non-Appalachian KY. Identify potential factors that influence higher diabetes prevalence in the Appalachian region of KY.

Methods: We obtained data from the 2016-2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) , a cross-sectional telephone survey of U.S. residents, to collect data on health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Prevalence of diabetes in the United States, KY, Appalachian KY, and Non-Appalachian KY was obtained and plotted on a graph. Data on baseline variables such as gender, age, education level, annual household income, body mass index (BMI) , smoking status, and health insurance was also obtained.

Results: In comparison to the United States (10.5-10.9%) , the prevalence rate of diabetes was higher in KY (12.8-13.7 %) throughout 2016-2020. Diabetes prevalence was even higher in Appalachian KY (15.8-17.2%) compared to Non-Appalachian KY (11.2 -12.5%) . This gap in diabetes prevalence rate has persisted over the last 5 years. A cross tabulation analysis of socioeconomic variables identified higher diabetes prevalence among adults aged 50-64 years, education level less than high school, and annual income less than $25000 in Appalachian vs. Non-Appalachian KY.

Conclusion: This study highlights the persisting high prevalence of diabetes in Appalachian KY, compared to Non- Appalachian KY. Overall, adults with diabetes in the Appalachian Region of KY have lower education and lower annual household income. Efforts that focus on addressing the most significant differences between the Appalachian and Non-Appalachian regions of KY can help decrease the prevalence of diabetes in this region.


R. Raj: None. B. Sadek: None. M. Seetha: None. M. Hashem: None. L. Kannan: None. J. Boulay: None.

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