24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Diabetes
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Statins: Good for the Heart, Maybe Not So Good for DiabetesMedtronic Expands Recall Of Thousands of Insulin PumpsScientists Untangle Why Diabetes Might Raise Alzheimer's RiskWhat Blood Sugar Levels Best Protect Against Heart Trouble in Those With Diabetes?Osteoporosis Drug May Keep Type 2 Diabetes at BayIs Insulin Resistance a Recipe for Depression?Doctors Often Miss Signs of Type 1 Diabetes in KidsBlack Americans, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in LifeAHA News: How a Simple Tape Measure May Help Predict Diabetes in Black AdultsExpert Panel Lowers Routine Screening Age for Diabetes to 35Dangerous Diabetes Tied to Pregnancy Is on the RiseDiabetes in Pregnancy Tied to Eye Issues in KidsDiabetes-Linked Amputations: Your Race, State MattersDiet Key to Better Health in People With DiabetesWhen Deductibles Rise, More Diabetes Patients Skip Their MedsType 2 Diabetes in Teens Can Bring Dangerous Complications in 20sFDA OKs Automatic Use of a Cheaper GenericĀ  InsulinAHA News: Diabetes and Dementia Risk: Another Good Reason to Keep Blood Sugar in CheckAmericans With Diabetes Were Hit Hard by COVID PandemicAHA News: The Challenge of Diabetes in the Black Community Needs Comprehensive SolutionsWhich Blood Sugar Meds Work Best Against Type 2 Diabetes?Walmart to Offer Low-Priced InsulinPoorly Managed Diabetes Raises Odds for More Severe COVIDWeekly Injected Drug Could Boost Outcomes for Patients With Type 2 DiabetesLockdown Weight Gain May Have Caused Surge in New Diabetes Cases in KidsAmerica Is Losing the War Against DiabetesA Fruitful Approach to Preventing DiabetesIn People With Type 1 Diabetes, Poor Blood Sugar Control Could Raise Dementia RiskBlood Sugar Tests Using Sweat, Not Blood? They Could Be on the WayWhen Diabetes Strikes in Pregnancy, Do Women Eat Healthier?Being a 'Night Owl' Raises Odds for Diabetes If You're Obese'Prediabetes' Raises Odds for Heart Attack, StrokeDementia Risk Rises as Years Lived With Type 2 Diabetes IncreasesCOVID-19 and Advanced Diabetes Can Be a Deadly Mix: StudyPandemic May Be Upping Cases of Severe Complication in Kids With DiabetesDiabetes Can Lead to Amputations, But Stem Cell Treatment Offers HopeCan a Drug Help Prevent Diabetic Vision Loss?Diabetes Is Deadlier for Black Americans: StudyLockdowns Gave Boost to Type 1 Diabetes Control in KidsComing Soon: Once-a-Week Insulin Injections?Common Type 2 Diabetes Meds Won't Raise Breast Cancer Risk: StudySome Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Face High Risk of Severe COVID-19Breakfast Timing Could Affect Your Odds for DiabetesBegin Routine Diabetes Screening at 35 for Overweight, Obese Americans: Task ForceCould a Drug Prevent Type 1 Diabetes in Those at Risk?Women With Type 1 Diabetes May Have Fewer Childbearing Years: StudyMeeting the Challenges of Type 1 Diabetes in the Teen YearsA Fifth of COVID Patients With Diabetes Die Within 1 Month of Hospitalization'Prediabetes' May Be Harming Your Brain, Study FindsDoes 'Prediabetes' Lead to Full-Blown Diabetes? Age May Be Key
Links
Related Topics

Medical Disorders

AHA News: How a Simple Tape Measure May Help Predict Diabetes in Black Adults

HealthDay News
by American Heart Association News
Updated: Sep 8th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8, 2021 (American Heart Association News) -- Measuring waist circumference may be an essential way to help predict who will develop diabetes among Black people with normal blood sugar levels, according to a new study. The problem is, researchers say, waist size often is overlooked at health visits.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, focused on how to best determine the risk of diabetes in Black populations. The condition causes blood sugar to rise and can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

About 1 in 10 people in the U.S. have diabetes, but the numbers are higher for Black men (14.7%) and Black women (13.4%), American Heart Association statistics show. According to federal data, Black people are twice as likely as their white counterparts to die of diabetes and three times as likely to end up hospitalized for uncontrolled diabetes.

Researchers looked at nearly 4,000 Black adults without diabetes who had their waist circumference and body mass index measured and received different types of blood and imaging tests to assess body fat. Participants had either normal blood sugar levels or prediabetes, a serious condition when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify as diabetes.

After about five years, the study found a simple A1C blood test was the best marker for predicting future diabetes in those who had prediabetes. The test measures average blood sugar levels over the past three months.

However, for participants with normal blood sugar, the researchers found it was better to measure waist circumference as well as liver fat and visceral adipose tissue, a type of fat that surrounds abdominal organs deep inside your body.

Measuring visceral and liver fat can be complicated and costly, but measuring waist circumference is simple and inexpensive, said the study's lead author Dr. Joshua J. Joseph.

"All you need is a good old-fashioned tape measure," said Joseph, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

"Waist circumference measurement has fallen off in recent years during office visits. Our (study) is a big reminder about the importance of actually doing that, and considering waist circumference alone, as well in the context of other conditions" such as obesity, he said.

About 55% of Black women and 38% of Black men have obesity, AHA statistics show. Since obesity is a key driver of diabetes, Joseph said it's important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet and be physically active.

But making and sustaining those changes isn't easy, Joseph acknowledged. "The bigger question is how do you get these individuals into programming that will actually help them improve their waist circumference and improve their life?"

Possible solutions, Joseph said, are for doctors to prescribe physical activity courses and training for their patients, and encourage them to enroll in nutritious cooking classes and take part in community gardens.

"We also need to address barriers that cut across all racial and ethnic groups. If you don't have a sidewalk in your community, it's much tougher to go outside and take a long walk," he said.

"To make sure everyone can lead longer, healthier lives, we have to work intensively as academic, corporate and government institutions, along with community stakeholders, to really address these social determinants of health."

Dr. Michelle Kelsey, who was not involved in the research, said the study was limited by its focus on Black adults in Mississippi. "The results may not be generalizable to all African Americans," she said.

In addition, she said, although everyone in the study had their waist size and BMI measured, not everyone received the same blood and imaging tests.

Still, Kelsey called the study "an important paper that helps us better understand who is likely to develop diabetes. If we can identify people at high risk earlier, we can intervene earlier to improve exercise and dietary habits, so those individuals don't go on to develop diabetes and all of its complications."

Kelsey, a cardiology fellow and researcher at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, said while it's still important to measure a person's BMI, the study is a reminder that not all body fat is created equal.

"We know that some of the markers of increased visceral (belly) fat are associated with development of diabetes," she said. "Waist circumference may tell us more about someone's risk for diabetes in the future than body mass index on its own."

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.

By Thor Christensen