Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?
The questions in this assessment ask about risk factors—conditions that may put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that the more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop diabetes. This tool can tell you only about your likelihood to develop type 2 diabetes. It cannot tell you definitely whether or not you will develop diabetes.
From the answers you gave us, it appears that you have only one risk factor for type 2 diabetes: your age. Being older than 44 increases your risk somewhat. The ADA recommends that you talk with your health care provider about having a screening test for diabetes every three years.
From the answers you gave us, it appears that, in addition to your age, you have other risk factors for diabetes. Because you have these risk factors, you should talk to your health care provider about getting a screening test for diabetes. The ADA recommends that people with risk factors be checked for diabetes every three years, or more often if their health care provider recommends it.
From the answers you gave us, it appears that you have one risk factor for diabetes: your weight. Your body mass index (BMI) is . A BMI of 25 to 29.9 puts you in the overweight category; a BMI of 30 or higher puts you in the obese category. The ADA reports that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by keeping weight in control and by increasing physical activity. Talk to your health care provider about your risks for diabetes.
From the answers you gave us, it appears that you have two or more risk factors for diabetes. One risk factor is your weight. Your body mass index (BMI) is . A BMI of 25 to 29.9 puts you in the overweight category; a BMI of 30 or higher puts you in the obese category. The ADA reports that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by keeping weight in control and by increasing physical activity. Your other risk factor(s) for diabetes are:. Talk to your health care provider about your weight and your other risks for diabetes.
The responses you have given us indicate that you do not have any risk factors for diabetes at this time. The ADA recommends that people begin to have tests to check for diabetes at age 45, or if they develop other risk factors besides age, such as becoming overweight. Check with your health care provider at your next visit to learn when you should have a screening test for diabetes.
45 years old, or older
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually appears after age 40, but people of all ages, even children, can develop it. According to the American Diabetes Association, if you're a healthy adult, you should be screened for diabetes or pre-diabetes every three years, beginning at age 45.
Overweight or obesity
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body weight relative to height. BMI is often used to show how much body fat you have. Based on the information you provided, you have a BMI of . If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are overweight; a BMI of 30 or more means you are obese. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Being overweight affects your health in many ways. It can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. It can also cause high blood pressure. Losing even a few pounds can help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, because your body will then be able to use insulin more efficiently.
Family history of diabetes
Because "diabetes runs in families," researchers know that certain genes must be involved. Research is now underway to find out exactly which genes. For type 2 diabetes, they suspect that multiple genes determine insulin secretion and insulin resistance.
Certain ethnic groups have a greater risk of developing diabetes. These groups include African-Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans.
Lack of physical activity increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise helps with several risk factors. It helps you lose weight, helps keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin. People who are physically active for 30 minutes a day five days a week reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes mellitus
Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. This type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes mellitus. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had it is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Women who have delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds also have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
People with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range have "prediabetes." Doctors sometimes call this condition impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), depending on the test used to diagnose it.
If you have prediabetes, you have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that most people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, which is about 10 to 15 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds. People with prediabetes also have a higher risk for heart disease.
High blood pressure, low HDL, or high triglycerides
High blood pressure, low HDL level, or high triglycerides could be signs of metabolic syndrome--also called insulin resistance syndrome. It is a prediabetic condition associated with heart disease. Obesity can also be part of this syndrome. The American Diabetes Association says metabolic syndrome is serious because it can lead to hardening of the arteries. It also increases your risk for cardiovascular and kidney disease. If you have one sign of this syndrome, you are more likely to have the others. The more symptoms of this syndrome you have, the greater the risks to your health. Talk to your health care provider about how to manage your blood pressure and HDL and triglyceride levels.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries produce large amounts of androgens (male hormones), particularly testosterone. Women who have PCOS are at higher risk for metabolic syndrome, a prediabetic condition associated with heart disease. Many women with PCOS also have type 2 diabetes.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional health care. Always consult with a health care provider for advice concerning your health. Only your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes.
This assessment is not intended to replace the evaluation of a health care professional.
February 17, 2014
Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN, MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician