Likely, find Alberta S. Kong, MD, MPH, and colleagues at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Kong's team surveyed 96 doctors who reported data from 1,133 patients seen during the same two-week period.
The doctors looked for three risk factors for diabetes -- being overweight or obese, having family members with diabetes, and having high blood pressure. Sure enough, the more diabetes risk factors a person had, the better the chance that person had acanthosis nigricans.
Children and adults with acanthosis nigricans were twice as likely to have diabetes as were those without the skin condition.
Children and teens aged 7 to 19 with acanthosis nigricans were 8.3 times more likely to have at least two diabetes risk factors as were those without the condition.
Adults aged 20 to 39 with acanthosis nigricans were 4.2 times more likely to have at least two diabetes risk factors as were those without the condition.
"Acanthosis nigricans can be used to rapidly identify those patients with multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus," Kong and colleagues conclude.
The study findings appear in the May/June issue of Annals of Family Medicine.
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