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Did you know that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States? Approximately 505,468 people in Louisiana have diagnosed diabetes, and an additional 113,000 Louisianans have diabetes, but don’t know it.

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Because of the complications associated with it, diabetes can lead to the development of kidney disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (leading to heart attack and stroke). Many people with prediabetes and diabetes have no symptoms in the early stages, so screening plays an important role in identifying them. For some with prediabetes, early treatment and lifestyle changes can effectively prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults begin screenings for diabetes at age 35; however, screenings should start sooner if you have risk factors like:

      • Overweight or obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2 or ≥23 kg/m2 in Asian Americans)
      • First-degree relative with diabetes
      • High-risk race/ethnicity (eg, African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
      • History of Cardiovascular Diseases
      • Hypertension (≥140/90 mmHg or on therapy for hypertension)
      • HDL cholesterol level <35 mg/dL (0.90 mmol/L) and/or a triglyceride level >250 mg/dL (2.82 mmol/L)
      • History of PCOS
      • Physical inactivity
      • HIV

Screening should be performed at least once every 3 years, unless a diagnosis of prediabetes is made, in which case yearly testing is recommended. Patients with a a history of GDM (Gestational diabetes mellitus) should have lifelong testing at least every 3 years.