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One in six of Logan County's 36,700 residents is a diabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and there are many more who don't know they have it.

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Fifty-four-year-old Everette Ray Roberts was one of an estimated 69,000 West Virginians who have diabetes, but don't know it.

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For four hours, Bill Hall used to lie on a padded vinyl recliner, one arm stretched out, two thick needles sticking out of it. One needle drained the blood from his body. The other put it back.

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Glenda has no insurance. She makes $350 every two weeks. If she were diabetic, she could get insulin free through the clinic if she needed it, but not the diabetic finger sticks and testing strips, which cost about $45. "I can't afford to get diabetes," she said.

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Think about this: More than 200,000 West Virginians have contracted a disease that kills people. About 69,000 of them don't know they have it.

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West Virginia has the nation's worst statistics in 10 of 12 categories in the new 2011 Gallup Healthways ranking. More than one in three West Virginians -- 35.3 percent -- are now obese.

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Journalist Kate Long examines how some West Virginians are changing their lifestyles to drop pounds and reduce their risk of diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. West Virginia has one of the highest chronic disease rates in the nation.

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Until the 1980s, few West Virginians are overweight in archival photos. In the 1960s and 1970s, during the poverty war, Americans got used to seeing pictures of bone-thin West Virginians on the evening news. Only 13.4 percent of Americans were obese then.

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Experts have advised West Virginia to establish statewide diabetes management programs. Dannie Cunningham can testify that they work.

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West Virginia occupies a top slot on almost every awful health ranking: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and others.

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