Saturday, July 31, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes: Who Should Get Screened?

The American Diabetes Association recommends that all adults age 45 or older be screened for diabetes. If you are younger than age 45, talk to your doctor about diabetes screening if you are overweight or obese and you have one or more of the following risk factors:

* You exercise fewer than three times a week.
* A close relative (sibling or parent) has type 2 diabetes.
* You had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
* You gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.
* You come from a Native American, Hispanic, African-American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Asian-American background.
* You were diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome — a hormone imbalance in women.
* You’ve been told you had higher-than-normal blood sugar levels before.
* You have a history of heart disease.
* You have high blood pressure at 140/90 mm Hg or above (or are taking medication to lower blood pressure).
* You have HDL "good" cholesterol below 35 mg/dL.
* Your triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL.

Because diabetes can damage your body for a while before you even realize you have it, it is important in order to make good choices about your long-term health. Ask for a screening if you are at risk.

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