Some people have a greater risk of developing diabetes than others; are you one of them?
Chances are good that someone you know is diabetic or prediabetic, meaning they’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the more common form of the disease. And, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), one of the dangers of diabetes is that it often has no symptoms.
On March 26, the ADA will hold its annual Alert Day, which warns Americans of the serious health dangers associated with diabetes. The day also encourages people to think about their own risk for developing the disease. One way is by taking the online Risk Test. But you don’t need a special day to learn the risk factors for diabetes. Here are some, as outlined by the ADA and the National Institutes of Health.
You are at a higher risk of developing diabetes if you are:
- Over the age of 45
- Have a family history of the disease
Belong to one of the racial or ethnic groups known to have higher rates of diabetes:
- African Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Asian Americans
- Native Americans
- Pacific Islanders
People who don’t exercise regularly or who have extra weight, especially around their abdomen, have an increased chance of developing diabetes.
People with these medical conditions also have an increased risk:
- HDL (“good”) cholesterol under 35 mg/dL
- High levels of triglycerides (250 mg/dL or more)
- High blood pressure (greater than or equal to 140/90)
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Metabolic syndrome (which is made up of a combination of medical issues; learn more here)
Special Factors for Women
Women have a higher risk of developing diabetes if they:
- Had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Have polycystic ovarian syndrome
If you have some of the risk factors, don’t panic. Proper testing can lead to early diagnosis of diabetes, and treatments allow most diabetics to stay healthy and lead happy, productive lives. At HCA East Florida, we’re ready to help anyone at risk for diabetes or who’s already living with it. For more information on the disease or finding the right doctor to treat it, call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-866-442-2362.