Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine brings doctors a step closer to predicting risk of type 2 diabetes using a simple question-and-answer system instead of blood tests. By answering about 10 questions and tallying up their score, people who take the test can get a relatively accurate assessment of their risk, and find out how urgent it is to undertake preventive measures.
Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? To find out, answer these 10 questions:
1. Do you have a diabetic mother? 13 points if yes
2. Do you have a diabetic father? 8 points if yes
3. Do you have hypertension? 11 points if yes
4. Are you African American? 6 points if yes
5. Are you age 55 to 64? 5 points if yes
6. Were you ever a smoker? 4 points if yes
7. What is your waist circumference in inches?
Less than 32 inches = 0 points
32 to less than 35 inches = 10 points
35 to less than 38 inches = 20 points
38 to less than 41 inches = 26 points
41 inches or greater = 35 points
8. What is your height in inches?
Less than 62 inches = 8 points
62 to less than 63 inches = 6 points
63 to less than 64½ inches = 3 points
64½ inches or more = 0 points
9. What is your resting pulse rate in beats per minute? (To find out, count the beats while sitting quietly for 60 seconds.)
73 bpm or less = 0 points
Greater than 73 bpm = 5 points
10. What is your weight in pounds?
Less than 160 = 0 points
Greater than 160 = 5 points
Add up your total score:
20 points or less: You have about a 5 percent risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
21–32 points: You have about a 9 percent risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
33–42 points: you have about a 16 percent risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
43–54 points: You have about a 25 percent risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
Greater than 55 points: You have about a 33 percent risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
You can also check your risk by taking the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Risk Calculator and reviewing this list of diabetes symptoms.
As always, please also consult your doctor.