Mercy Endocrinologist Dr. Supneet Saluja Discusses Rise of Pre-diabetes in “Normal Weight” Women

October 3, 2016
Center for Endocrinology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

It's no surprise that overweight people often struggle with diabetes. But recent studies show that nearly one in five Americans of healthy weight are pre-diabetic.

Bernadette Hanks is one of an increasing number of people who is not obese but is pre-diabetic.

“I had been having some problems and something just didn't seem right, so to the doctors I went,” Hanks said. “It was a little bit surprising.”

Surprising, but not uncommon.

A recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine shows that more and more Americans who are considered to have healthy weights are pre-diabetic.

Researchers surveyed a group of normal-weight people from 1988 to 1994, and 10.2 percent were pre-diabetic. A similar survey was conducted from 1999 to 2012, and the percentage of people who were pre-diabetic went up to 18.5 percent.

“You could be normal weight and still be at an unhealthy place,” said Dr. Supneet Saluja, an endocrinology specialist at The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center.

According to Dr. Saluja, it has to do with where people carry their weight.

“So abdominal obesity, carrying the fat around your waist (can be the issue),” Dr. Saluja said. “If your waist circumference is more than 35 inches if you're a woman and more than 40 inches if you're a man, that puts you at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.”

Other risk factors include inactivity and unhealthy eating habits.

“I highly recommend increasing your exercise and making good decisions in terms of your diet,” Dr. Saluja said.

That's what Hanks is doing.

“I had to change my lifestyle, not just for me but to be here for my grandkids,” she said.

View Mercy endocrinologist Dr. Supneet Saluja’s interview about pre-diabetes.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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