Diabetes: Definition of High BMI Differs Between Americans and Asians

APRIL 01, 2017
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Physicians are learning more and more about how diabetes risk and body mass index (BMI) differ between populations. David O’Dell, MD, professor of general internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center sat down with MD Magazine and talked about one characteristic to consider at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting (ACP 2017) in San Diego, California.
For Americans, a BMI of 25 means they are overweight. However, a BMI of 23.5 means overweight for Asians. Therefore, physicians need to consider different genetic makeups that come into play when treating patients with diabetes.
“We take care of patients from diverse backgrounds,” O’Dell continued. “In my Asian Americans, I need to more aware of this risk factor.”
Since being overweight is one risk factor for diabetes, better understanding differences between populations can help physicians treat their patients more effectively, O’Dell said.
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