Doctors can predict accurately if someone is prone to diabetes by looking at their waistline, according to a research paper released by a local hospital on Tuesday.
Chang Yi-cheng (張以承) of the metabolism and endocrinology department at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Yunlin branch, said this was because big waistlines are one of the four risk factors for diabetes.
Chang, one of the co-authors of the research paper published in last month’s Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, said that by evaluating the four risk factors, doctors can predict a person’s chances of developing diabetes with up to 75 percent accuracy.
The other risk factors are age, a history of taking medication for high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes, he said.
In the research conducted by the hospital in Yunlin County, the hospital gave a free blood test to 676 people in 2006 and 1,938 people in 2008 and found some had diabetes.
The study later looked for the four risk factors in all the people who received the blood tests, Chang said. Researchers found that 75 percent of the people who had all four risk factors had also been previously found to have diabetes through the blood tests.
Of the four risk factors, Chang said, age, family history and a history of taking high blood pressure medication cannot be changed, but one’s waistline can be controlled.
“Male waistlines should not exceed 90cm while female waistlines should not exceed 80cm,” he said.
Chang and Lin Chao-wei (林昭維), director of the hospital’s Cardiology Department, conducted the research under the guidance of Professor Chuang Li-ming (莊立民) of National Taiwan University and Huang Jui-jen (黃瑞仁), deputy superintendent of the hospital.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to, the hormone insulin.
This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood and can lead to a number of potential complications.