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Diabetes Risks

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) currently recommends being tested for diabetes at age 45 and every 3 years thereafter especially if Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 or more.  The ADA recommends considering screening for diabetes at an earlier age or more often if overweight or at risk for diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes indicated by the ADA include:

  • Overweight - a BMI equal or greater than 25 indicates overweight or obesity.
  • Physical inactivity - physically inactive throughout life.
  • High blood pressure - blood pressure over 140/90 mmHg.
  • Low HDL-cholesterol or elevated triglycerides - HDL-cholesterol (the "good cholesterol") less than 35 mg/dl and/or blood triglyceride equal or greater than 250 mg/dl.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance or Impaired fasting glucose - past diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose.
  • History of gestational diabetes - diagnosed with gestational diabetes when pregnant or having given birth to a baby weighing 9 or more pounds.
  • History of vascular diseases - diseases of the blood vessels.
  • Family history of diabetes - parent or brother/sister with diabetes.
  • Age - 45 years or older.
  • Ethnicity - Native American, Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Pacific Islander ethnicities are at greater risk.

The American Diabetes Association.  Screening for Diabetes.  Diabetes Care, Volume 26, Supplement 1.


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