Type 2 diabetes > More about type 2 diabetes
Of the estimated 17 million Americans with diabetes, 5.9 million remain unaware and undiagnosed. Another 16 million Americans have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; or prediabetes), a condition that is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Could you be on the road to becoming one of the million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in the U.S.each year?
Review the risk factors below to find out if you should be tested.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that people age 45 and older consider getting tested for diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests a routine test every three years for those over 45. If you are over 45 and also overweight or obese, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, more frequent testing may be necessary. Not sure if you are considered overweight? Check your body mass index (BMI) here.
You should also consider talking to your doctor about testing at any age if you are overweight and have one or more of these risk factors:
- A parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.
- Being of African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino descent.
- A history of gestational diabetes, or having at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth.
- Blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
- HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) levels of 35 or lower and/or triglyceride levels of 250 or higher.
- Living a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle (i.e., exercising less than three times a week).
To find out more about reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, see our feature article on prediabetes. You can also try our type 2 diabetes risk assessment quiz.
You can also learn more about blood tests for the diagnosis of diabetes, including the oral glucose tolerance test and fasting and random plasma glucose tests.