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January 14, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Evanston, Illinois, USA:

Type 2 diabetes is common on both sides of my maternal and my paternal family, and my mother was recently diagnosed at age 50. I am a physically active 21 year old, I have been told I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, my weight is healthy, and I have no symptoms. Should I be tested for Type 2 diabetes? When and how often?

Answer:

Your concern about testing is appropriate. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing in people without risk factors starting at age 45 but sooner for those with risk factors such as a family history and PCOS. There are no specific guidelines as what age to begin testing, but I would recommend an initial test now (along with cholesterol/lipid and blood pressure testing). If the results are all normal, I think testing each year would be prudent unless you develop other symptoms. Keeping active and keeping your weight normal will also help to reduce your risk for type�2 diabetes.

TB