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The risk for diabetes and pre-diabetes increases with age. However, there are steps you can take to lower your risk, including undergoing regular blood glucose screening and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Blood Glucose Screening: Who Needs It?
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends:
Blood glucose screening for everyone at age 45, particularly those with a BMI equal to or greater than 25. If the result is normal, this test should be repeated every year.
People younger than age 45 should also talk with their health care provider about getting tested for diabetes or pre-diabetes, particularly if they have one or more risk factors.
Having one or more risk factors means you are more likely to develop the disease. However, there are people who have risk factors who never develop diabetes, and sometimes, people with no risk factors may develop it. Taking steps to lower the risk factors in your control can help reduce your chances of getting diabetes. Risk factors include:
Weight. Being overweight or obese is one of the most common risk factors for pre-diabetes. Approximately 80 percent of people who have Type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Inactivity. Being inactive or exercising fewer than three times a week increases your risk for diabetes even if your weight is normal.
Family history. Having a parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes increases your risk for disease.
Race. Although it's unclear why, people from certain ethnic backgrounds are at increased risk for diabetes, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Pacific Islanders.
High blood pressure. People who have a blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher are at increased risk.
History of gestational diabetes. Have delivered a baby weighing more than nine pounds or have had gestational diabetes increases your risk. Learn more about gestational diabetes.
Blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. People with an HDL ("good") cholesterol level of 40 or lower, or a triglyceride level of 250 or higher, have a higher risk for diabetes.
Previous test results: On previous testing, having impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose increases your risk.
According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, women who have a waist measurement of more than 35 inches, and men whose waist size is more than 40 inches, are particularly at risk for diabetes.
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