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Waist circumference predicts diabetes risk

Category: Diabetes

Individuals with wider waist circumferences may want to consider seeking a diabetes test, as a new study has found that the measurement may be a good predictor of the metabolic syndrome.

Most current guidelines from public health agencies recommend giving a patient a diabetes test if they have an unhealthy body mass index (BMI), though few make any suggestion about testing those with larger waist circumferences.

However, investigators from the German Institute for Nutritional Research found that individuals with a low BMI but a high waist circumference measurement are just as likely to develop diabetes as those with a high BMI.

The study noted that visceral fat is one of the leading contributors to the development of diabetes. Measuring this fat may help doctors predict who will develop the condition and enable them to plan treatments for those individuals.

Measuring visceral fat has been a problem, however, and some doctors disagree about the best method. The findings of the study could help doctors identify at-risk patients and enable them to recommend certain lifestyle changes that could lower their risk.

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