Diabetes has swept through the United States. As of 2018, there were 4.9 million people ages 18-44, 14.8 million ages 45-65, and 14.3 million 65 and older who had diabetes.
But as Mia Isabella Aguilar's children's book says, "We Are Not All the Same, But We Are All Equal."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes is highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (14.7%), people of Hispanic origin (12.5%), non-Hispanic Blacks (11.7%), and non-Hispanic Asians (9.2%), compared to non-Hispanic whites (7.5%).
That means in order to provide across-the-board care, it’s important to recognize differences and find ways to provide equal protection.
New findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine have lead researchers to suggest that the body mass index (BMI) thresholds for diabetes screening should be specific to each group.
The researchers initially found that the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Black, Hispanic, and Asian 35-year-olds with a BMI of at least 25 (indicating they are overweight) was much higher than for white adults with the same BMI — 3.5%, 3.05%, and 3.8%, respectively, compared to 1.4% for whites.
They suggest that to protect each group from the ravages of undiagnosed diabetes, it would be smart to start screening Asian adults with a BMI of 20, Black adults with a BMI of above 18.5, and Hispanics at 18.5.
To check out your BMI, visit CDC.gov and search for "BMI."
If you're at risk for diabetes, get a blood test. Early diagnosis can prompt you make lifestyle changes (and take medication) to reverse the disease.