Chester River Hospital Center
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Are You at Risk For Diabetes?


Barbara McDanolds, MA, RN, CDE


Sixteen million Americans have diabetes - and millions of them don’t even know it! To learn if you are at risk of having diabetes, take a few moments to take this test.

Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians. If you are a member of one of these groups you should pay special attention to this test.

Before you take the test you will need to know how to compute your body mass index. Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, then multiply that number by 705 to get your body mass index.

Weight (lbs.) ______ x 705 = _______ BMI

(Height in inches)2

To find out if you are at risk, write in the points next to each statement that is true for you. If a statement is not true, put a zero. Total your scores.

1. My BMI is 27 or higher. Yes 5 _____

2. I am under 65 years of age and I get

little or no exercise during a usual day. Yes 5 _____

3. I am between 45 and 64 years of age. Yes 5 _____

4. I am 65 years old or older. Yes 9 _____

5. I am a woman who has had a baby

weighing more than nine pounds at birth. Yes 1 _____

6. I have a sister or brother with diabetes. Yes 1 _____

7. I have a parent with diabetes. Yes 1 _____

Total _____

Scoring 3-9 points

You are probably at low risk for having diabetes now. But don’t just forget about it -- especially if you are Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander. You may be at higher risk in the future. New guidelines recommend everyone age 45 and over should consider being tested for the disease every three years. However, people at high risk should consider being tested at a younger age.

Scoring 10 or more points

You are at risk for having diabetes. Only a doctor can determine if you have diabetes. See a doctor soon and find out for sure.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to blindness, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and amputations. It kills more than 182,000 people each year. Some people with diabetes have symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms — extreme thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss — call your doctor.

For more information about diabetes, diabetes education or the Hospital’s Diabetic Support Group call (410) 778-3300, ext. 2175.

mcdanoldcopy.jpg (13074 bytes) Barbara McDanolds, MA, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator, is the Director of Education at Kent & Queen Anne’s Hospital. She joined the Hospital’s Nursing Staff in 1987.