According to estimates, 8.5% of adults aged 18 years and over in Connecticut had diagnosed diabetes in 2018.

And the rates differ among different socioeconomic groups. Men, older people, people of color, low-income people and people with a lower educational attainment, all have higher rates of diabetes.

Anne Miller, executive director at Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group, a nonprofit that provides community support and resources, said people who use food markets or food pantries as a supplement to their income generally tend to suffer diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure at much higher rates than the rest of the population.

Miller noted that people with limited access to fresh food often end up buying food that is shelf-stable with high salt, high fat and high levels of preservatives.

The state’s estimates also show that slightly over 24% of adults with diagnosed diabetes have had a heart attack, stroke or coronary heart disease.

And adults from health districts in eastern Connecticut were more likely to have a higher prevalence of diagnosed diabetes compared with the statewide average.

Read more: How CT is encouraging grocery stores to open in food deserts