Family history is just one risk factor; learn what else increases your risk of diabetes
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Dr. David Katz: Experts agree that as much as 90% of all diabetes can be prevented. Preventing diabetes begins by controlling risk factors. For you to prevent diabetes in you or a loved one, you have to begin by knowing what those risk factors are. One is the family history of diabetes. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, the far more common variety tends to run in families. So, if a close relative has Type 2 diabetes you would likely to be at increased risk and should confirm with your doctor. Another common indicator that increase diabetes risk is high blood pressure. Now of course high blood pressure can occur independently of diabetes but often it's a sign of insulin resistance and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Another indicator is abnormalities in what's called the lipid profile. This goes beyond just cholesterol levels to include triglycerides. A high level of triglycerides and a low HDL cholesterol often signify increased risk of diabetes. And one of the most important risk factors is something you can check with the device just like this, a simple tape measure. You want to wrap this around your waist, right at the level of your belly button, my belly button is right there, trust me and you want to do this of course right at the level of the skin not over a jacket as I am doing now. In women, a waist circumference of 34 inches or more is a strong risk factor for diabetes, in men the cut point is 40 inches. So, if your tape measure tells you, you are at risk see your doctor and talk about what you can do to lower your personal risk of diabetes. For Vital Finds, I am Dr. David Katz.