Here's some troubling news, Berkshire County residents. The CDC has not officially done a report for 2022 yet, but do you know what the 8th leading cause of death was for Americans in 2021? And, for that matter, 2020(it's the same for both)?

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Here's a hint: It's a chronic disease that is characterized by high levels of blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to nerve, kidney, and heart damage, among others. The answer is DIABETES.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the past two years(at least), diabetes has been the 8th leading cause of death for Americans. The CDC also reports that approximately 11% of the adult population have diabetes with many of them not even aware that they have it.

Diabetes has been on the rise for roughly 20 years and the disease affects men and women of all ages and races. In fact, and it is only a matter of time, the number of younger people with diabetes is expected to increase over the next several years.

Recently Stacker, the online news-gathering platform, performed a study with the help of 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The study looked at all the counties in every state to see which counties had the highest percentage of adults with diabetes. The study showed that out of the 14 counties in the Bay State, all 4 in Western Massachusetts landed in the top 10, with 2 of those in the top 5!

Here are the 14 counties ranked highest to lowest in terms of the percentage of adults with diabetes(you'll notice #1 is also in Western Massachusetts):

  1. Hampden County - 10% of adults with diabetes estimated
  2. Suffolk County(where Boston is located) - also 10% of adults(you can visit the website here to see how ties were broken)
  3. Bristol County - 8% of adults are estimated to suffer from diabetes
  4. Berkshire County - also 8%
  5. Worcester County - also 8%
  6. Essex County - also 8%
  7. Plymouth County - 7% of adults are estimated to suffer from diabetes
  8. Franklin County(Western Massachusetts) - also 7%
  9. Nantucket County - also 7%
  10. Hampshire County(Western Massachusetts) - also 7%
  11. Barnstable County - also 7%
  12. Middlesex County - also 7%
  13. Norfolk County - also 7%
  14. Dukes County - also 7%

Again, if you run down the list, you'll notice a few ties with several counties. Visit the 2022 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website here for more info on how ties were broken. Plenty of cool information to look through, as well.

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