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GPs can prevent type-2 diabetes by measuring patients' waist circumference, according to a new international definition of the metabolic syndrome.
The definition, drawn up by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), underlines abdominal obesity as the first marker for identifying patients at risk, instead of relying on BMI.
It was announced at the International Congress on Pre-diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome in Berlin last week.
To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, patients must now have central obesity, defined as a waist circumference of at least 94cm in men and 80cm in women, plus two other risk factors (see box opposite).