Am i at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Bill Snyder
Published: July, 2003

To assess your risk for type 2 diabetes, check each item that applies to you:

__ I am over 45 years of age.
__ I am overweight (see below).
__ I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
__ My family background is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic American/Latino.
__ I have had gestational diabetes, or I gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
__ My blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, or I have been told that I have high blood pressure.
__ My cholesterol levels are not normal. My HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) is 35 or lower, or my triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
__ I am fairly inactive. I exercise fewer than three times a week.

Of these risk factors, being overweight tops the list.

To find out if you are overweight, calculate your body mass index (BMI).

A healthy BMI for adults — regardless of age or sex — is between 18.5 and 24.9. Adults with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 are considered overweight; those with a BMI of 30.0 or more are considered obese.

You can calculate your BMI using the following formula:

BMI = [(weight in pounds) divided by (height in inches) divided by (height in inches)] multiplied by 703.

Or you can use a Web-based calculator or table to find your BMI.

Waist size also provides a quick weight index — a waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women is considered overweight.

Do I have diabetes?

The symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, weight loss, extreme fatigue and blurred vision. A sudden onset of these symptoms is usual in type 1 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the symptoms may develop gradually, or not at all. People with type 2 diabetes may notice that they suffer from frequent infections, or that wounds heal slowly.

Should I be tested for diabetes?

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