Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Childhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological IllsStudy Probes Relationship Between Migraines and SleepCancer in Hispanics: Good News and BadFDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk AmericansU.S. to Buy 500 Million More COVID Vaccine Doses for Global DonationAntibodies to Early Strains of COVID May Not Fight New Variants: StudyPregnant Women Who Get COVID Vaccine Pass Antibodies to NewbornsCDC Expert Panel to Weigh In on Vaccine BoostersWhich Kids Are at Highest Risk From COVID?4 Out of 10 Adults With No Known Heart Disease Have Fatty Hearts: StudyBooster Dose of J&J COVID Vaccine Increases ImmunityPost-Stroke Rehab: There's a Sweet Spot in the TimingCommon Form of Liver Cancer on the Rise in Rural AmericaCOVID Has Killed More Americans Than the Spanish Flu Did in 1918Telemedicine Gets High Marks for Follow-Ups After SurgeryPandemic Tied to Declining Birth Rates for U.S., Much of EuropeStudy Spots People at High Risk of Severe Breakthrough COVIDReview of Booster Shots for Moderna, J&J Vaccines Just Weeks Away: FauciDelta Variant Now Fueling 99% of U.S. COVID CasesLower Dose of Pfizer COVID Vaccine Works Well in Young Children, Company SaysFDA Panel OKs Pfizer Booster Shot for  People 65 or Older, But Not YoungerLong-Haul COVID in Kids Typically Ends Within 3 Months: StudyPfizer, Moderna Vaccines Still Offer Good Protection Against Severe COVID: StudyTrial Into Antioxidant for Parkinson's Disease Yields Disappointing ResultsIs Flu Ready for a Comeback? Get Your ShotDrug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell AnemiaChild Obesity Rose Sharply During PandemicFDA Advisory Panel to Meet on COVID Booster ShotsStatin Cholesterol Drugs May Help Fight Ulcerative ColitisAHA News: Physical Activity Is Helpful After a Stroke, But How Much Is Healthy?Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients UnawareEven When Undergoing Treatment, People With MS Gain From COVID VaccinesNIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID StudyHospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 BillionIn 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDCPet Store Puppies Passing Drug-Resistant Bacteria to PeopleIs a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?1 in 500 Americans Has Died From COVID-19Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: StudyBlood Cancer Patients Could Benefit From COVID Booster Shot: StudyCOVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Could Come This Fall: FauciBritain OK's COVID Vaccine for Kids 12 and Older; Hopes to Avoid LockdownsCOVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a QuarterMonth-Long Recovery From Concussion Is Normal: StudyDeath From COVID 11 Times More Likely If You're Unvaccinated: StudyL.A. Is First Major School District to Mandate Vaccines for Students 12 and UpNew Tally Adds Extra 16,000 U.S. Nursing Home Residents Lost to COVIDBlack Americans, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in LifeAverage COVID Hospitalization Is 150 Times More Expensive Than VaccinationGetting Your First COVID Shot Can Boost Mental Health: Study
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Men's Health
Women's Health

AHA News: How a Simple Tape Measure May Help Predict Diabetes in Black Adults

HealthDay News
by American Heart Association News
Updated: Sep 8th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8, 2021 (American Heart Association News) -- Measuring waist circumference may be an essential way to help predict who will develop diabetes among Black people with normal blood sugar levels, according to a new study. The problem is, researchers say, waist size often is overlooked at health visits.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, focused on how to best determine the risk of diabetes in Black populations. The condition causes blood sugar to rise and can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

About 1 in 10 people in the U.S. have diabetes, but the numbers are higher for Black men (14.7%) and Black women (13.4%), American Heart Association statistics show. According to federal data, Black people are twice as likely as their white counterparts to die of diabetes and three times as likely to end up hospitalized for uncontrolled diabetes.

Researchers looked at nearly 4,000 Black adults without diabetes who had their waist circumference and body mass index measured and received different types of blood and imaging tests to assess body fat. Participants had either normal blood sugar levels or prediabetes, a serious condition when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify as diabetes.

After about five years, the study found a simple A1C blood test was the best marker for predicting future diabetes in those who had prediabetes. The test measures average blood sugar levels over the past three months.

However, for participants with normal blood sugar, the researchers found it was better to measure waist circumference as well as liver fat and visceral adipose tissue, a type of fat that surrounds abdominal organs deep inside your body.

Measuring visceral and liver fat can be complicated and costly, but measuring waist circumference is simple and inexpensive, said the study's lead author Dr. Joshua J. Joseph.

"All you need is a good old-fashioned tape measure," said Joseph, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

"Waist circumference measurement has fallen off in recent years during office visits. Our (study) is a big reminder about the importance of actually doing that, and considering waist circumference alone, as well in the context of other conditions" such as obesity, he said.

About 55% of Black women and 38% of Black men have obesity, AHA statistics show. Since obesity is a key driver of diabetes, Joseph said it's important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet and be physically active.

But making and sustaining those changes isn't easy, Joseph acknowledged. "The bigger question is how do you get these individuals into programming that will actually help them improve their waist circumference and improve their life?"

Possible solutions, Joseph said, are for doctors to prescribe physical activity courses and training for their patients, and encourage them to enroll in nutritious cooking classes and take part in community gardens.

"We also need to address barriers that cut across all racial and ethnic groups. If you don't have a sidewalk in your community, it's much tougher to go outside and take a long walk," he said.

"To make sure everyone can lead longer, healthier lives, we have to work intensively as academic, corporate and government institutions, along with community stakeholders, to really address these social determinants of health."

Dr. Michelle Kelsey, who was not involved in the research, said the study was limited by its focus on Black adults in Mississippi. "The results may not be generalizable to all African Americans," she said.

In addition, she said, although everyone in the study had their waist size and BMI measured, not everyone received the same blood and imaging tests.

Still, Kelsey called the study "an important paper that helps us better understand who is likely to develop diabetes. If we can identify people at high risk earlier, we can intervene earlier to improve exercise and dietary habits, so those individuals don't go on to develop diabetes and all of its complications."

Kelsey, a cardiology fellow and researcher at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, said while it's still important to measure a person's BMI, the study is a reminder that not all body fat is created equal.

"We know that some of the markers of increased visceral (belly) fat are associated with development of diabetes," she said. "Waist circumference may tell us more about someone's risk for diabetes in the future than body mass index on its own."

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email

By Thor Christensen


Amazon Smile


Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.


powered by centersite dot net