Diabetes Risk Factors and Diagnosis

Risk Factors – Type 2

  • Pre-diabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • Being age 45 or older
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not exercising regularly
  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL, also known as “good” cholesterol and/or high levels of triglycerides
  • Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)

Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) in the Diagnosis of Diabetes

HbA1c is recommended by both the American Diabetes Association and the World Health Organization as a test option for the diagnosis of diabetes. The organizations advise that after a result consistent with the diagnosis of diabetes, HbA1c levels should be repeated in asymptomatic patients within 2 weeks to rule out the rare occurrence of a blood sampling error. For people without diabetes, the normal range for the HbA1c test is 4 to 5.6%. Levels of 5.7 to 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes should have this test every 3 months to check whether blood sugars have reached optimum levels of 7% or less.

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