Did you know that most patients are unaware that being overweight can lead to diabetes?
Most people are aware that an obesity epidemic is happening worldwide. They are also aware that there is a diabetic epidemic sweeping the world. However, most people are unaware that being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes.
Based on New Mexico data from 2005, it can be estimated that 80% or more of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
You can help your patients establish a goal of reducing the risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes by:
- Checking blood pressure at every visit. Treatment goals should be established based on all of a patient's risk factors. Detailed discussion of treatment goals for individuals in general can be found at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website and treatment goals for individuals with diabetes can be found at the American Diabetes Association website.
- Assessing BMI and waist circumference frequently, preferably at each visit.
- Screening for diabetes in patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or risk factors for diabetes, using one of the currently accepted methods including fasting plasma glucose, two-hour glucose tolerance following a 75 gram glucose load, or, in some circumstances, A1c screening. Remember, any screening test may require verification. You can learn more about tests at the American Diabetes Association website.
- Considering screening low-risk patients over 45 years old every three years.
- Explaining why it is important to monitor these areas as well as the results of their tests in relation to how these can contribute to other health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
(These recommendations were adapted from the American Diabetes Association. Epidemiologic data is from the New Mexico Department of Health. You can also obtain continuing education and additional information tailored for New Mexico diabetes health care professionals from both New Mexico Health Care Takes On Diabetes and the New Mexico Department of Health.)
Page content was updated on March 14, 2014.