Health Advice



New recommendations to identify diabetes earlier

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Diabetes has swept the nation: As of 2018, there were 4.9 million people ages 18-44, 14.8 million ages 45-65, and 14.3 million who were 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 is important to recognize differences and find ways to provide equal protection.

Here's one smart way to do that. New findings published in the Annals of Internal Medicine have lead researchers to suggest that the BMI thresholds for diabetes screening should be specific to individual groups.

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 overweight) was much higher than for white adults with the same BMI -- 3.5%, 3.05% and 3.8%, respectively, compared to 1.4%. 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.

So check out your BMI -- visit; search for "BMI." If you're at risk for diabetes, get a blood test. Early diagnosis can let you take lifestyle steps (and medication) to reverse the disease!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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