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Ask the diabetes expert: Does a growing waistline indicate a higher chance of getting diabetes?

W.T.M.Why This Matters

Diabetes is a hot topic in Singapore, especially after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s 2017 National Day Rally speech highlighting the need to fight this disease. To help tackle this issue, we asked you, our readers, if you had any questions about diabetes that we could help get answers to. Here is one of them.

Q. Does a growing waistline indicate a higher chance of getting diabetes even though the BMI is in a normal range?

Waist circumference indicates accumulation of fat around the waist. It is associated with accumulation of fat in both the subcutaneous and visceral fat compartment. Normal waist circumference for Asian women is 80cm and men 90cm.

A growing waistline, beyond normal waist circumference, indicates excess fat accumulation around the waist. Excess accumulation of fat around the waist has been associated with insulin resistance and greater inflammation and increased risk of metabolic diseases and diabetes mellitus.

Studies have shown that a large waist circumference is associated with higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus particularly in persons with lower (normal) BMI, and that this association is stronger among men than women.

Dr Khoo Chin Meng, Senior Consultant, Division of Endocrinology, National University Hospitals

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Published at Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000