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What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Eighty-four million American adults have prediabetes. Nine out of ten people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
If you have prediabetes, you are 5 to15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. The vast majority of people with prediabetes do not know they have the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 of every 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes and half of all Americans age 65 years and older have prediabetes.
If you have any of the following risk factors, you are more likely to develop prediabetes:
- 45 years of age or older
- Have a parent, sister, or brother with diabetes
- Family background is African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Developed diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- Physically active less than 3 times a week
It is important to find out early if you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes because early treatment can prevent serious problems that diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
If you have two or more of the risk factors above, you should consider getting a blood test from a health care provider for prediabetes and diabetes.
If your test results indicate you have prediabetes, you should enroll in an evidence-based lifestyle change program to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing 5% to 7% of their body weight—that is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Weight loss should be achieved by making lasting lifestyle changes to improve nutrition and increase physical activity to 150 minutes each week.