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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.

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