Diabetes is one of the largest health crises America faces, and the preventability of the disease is one of its most frustrating aspects.
Of diabetes sufferers, only 5% suffer from type 1 diabetes, while the overwhelming 95% have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with lifestyle in many cases, and maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are known to help stave off diabetes.
New research in diabetes prediction has been published in the medical journal PLoS Medicine- and the findings say that while BMI has been used in the past to determine whether a person will develop diabetes, waist size alone is also a predictor even if a person is not obese.
12,400 people who had type 2 diabetes were included in the study, alongside around 16,100 people who did not have the condition. For the study’s criteria, a “large waist” was defined as more than 35 inches for a woman, or 40 inches for a man. WebMD posted some of the study’s findings:
- Overweight women with a large waist (35-plus) and overweight men with a large waist (40-plus) had a 10-year incidence of diabetes similar to that of obese people.
- Higher waist size and higher BMI were each linked with higher diabetes risk.
- High waist size was a stronger risk factor for women than for men.
- Obese men with a large waist (40-plus) were 22 times more likely to develop diabetes than men with a low-normal BMI (18.5-22.4) and a smaller waist (less than 37 inches).
- Obese women with a large waist (35-plus) were nearly 32 times as likely to get diabetes than women of low-normal weight and a smaller waist (less than 31 inches).
Researchers say it is the type of fat that collects around a person’s midsection believed to be a factor in whether or not an individual later develops diabetes.