Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Assessing the risk of diabetes

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 03 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4525
  1. Rupal Shah, general practitioner partner1
  1. 1Bridge Lane Group Practice, London SW11 3AD, UK
  1. Correspondence to: R Shah rupal.shah7{at}
  • Accepted 30 June 2015

The bottom line

  • Check for risk factors for diabetes, such as South Asian ethnicity, raised body mass index (BMI), and family history

  • Use a risk calculator (such as Qdiabetes and the diabetes risk score) to predict 10 year risk of developing type 2 diabetes

  • Consider testing for diabetes (using fasting blood glucose or HBA1c) in patients at high risk of diabetes. Consider the possibility of diabetes in South Asians over 25 years who are overweight or obese (BMI ≥23)

A 38 year old South Asian man comes to see you for a medication review. He takes bendroflumethiazide for hypertension, which is well controlled. His last recorded body mass index (BMI) was 29. As part of the review, you decide to discuss his risk of developing diabetes.

What you should cover

This man is at high risk of diabetes because of his ethnicity, his hypertension, and his BMI; in general, obesity accounts for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In adults over 40 years, the risk of diabetes is two to three times greater in South Asians than in age matched white people.

  • Check if he has any symptoms …

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