Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Waist Size Alone May Predict Diabetes Risk

Study Finds Waist Size Strongly Linked to Diabetes Risk, Especially in Women

Waist Size & Diabetes Risk: Perspective

The new research is ''basically fine-tuning what we have known for years," says Steven Edelman, MD, a diabetes expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He reviewed the findings.

While taking a patient's waist measurement ''wouldn't be a bad idea," doctors have many other ways to assess risk, he says.

They can take a good history, order lab tests, and simply eyeball the patient, he says.

It can be difficult to measure the waist exactly the same way each time, says James T. Lane, MD, the Harold Hamm chair in clinical diabetes research at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma.

''It's helpful for measuring progress, but it's another statistic that should be used with caution by doctors because of the possibility for irregularity and inconsistency," Lane says.

"This further confirms that it is important to avoid carrying extra fat, particularly so around the abdominal region," Lane says. Fat hampers the body's ability to respond to insulin.

Edelman serves as a speaker, consultant, or advisory board member for Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, Lilly, Abbott, and other companies.

Lane has received grants or research support from Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, Pfizer, and other companies.

1|2

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article