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Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Karen Miller | 4/14/2014, 6 a.m.

Is it possible to have diabetes and not even know it? Just ask the 7 million people in this country that go undiagnosed. There are several reasons why diabetes lurks undetected. In the early stages it is silent, or the symptoms are so mild, they are overlooked. Most often more severe symptoms do not appear until the disease advances.

But the main reason is that many people do not have their blood glucose checked regularly. In diabetes, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood is elevated. In January 2014 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) updated its Standards of Care, including guidelines for screening for diabetes.

Testing to detect type 2 diabetes in asymptomatic people should be considered in adults of any age who are overweight or obese (BMI exceeding 25) and who have one or more additional risk factors for diabetes, such as age, family history, high blood pressure and inactivity. Those without risk factors can begin testing at age 45.

If tests are normal, retesting can be done in three-year intervals.

To help you determine if you are a candidate for testing, the ADA has developed a diabetes risk test. Answer the questions below.

1. How old are you?

  • Less than 40 years (0 points)
  • 40 – 49 years (1 point)
  • 50 – 59 years (2 points)
  • 60 years or older (3 points)

2. Are you a man or a woman?

  • Man (1 point)
  • Woman (0 points)

3. Have you ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

  • Yes (1 point)
  • No (0 points)

4. Do you have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes?

  • Yes (1 point)
  • No (0 points)

5. Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure?

  • Yes (1 point)
  • No (0 points)

6. Are you physically active?

  • Yes (0 points)
  • No (1 point)

photo

courtesy of diabetes.org

7. What is your weight status?

  • See chart on left

If you scored 5 or higher, you are at increased risk for having type 2 diabetes, according to the ADA. Talk to your provider to see if additional testing is necessary and to determine factors that lower the risk of the disease.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

To take the test online, visit http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/diabetes-risk-test/?loc=atrisk-slabnav