A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease, and stroke. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.
- Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
- 86 million American adults (more than 1 in 3 adults) have prediabetes.
- 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes do not know they have it.
- When a person has prediabetes, they're on the path to developing type 2 diabetes, and are also at increased risk for serious health problems such as stroke and heart attack.
- The good news is that prediabetes can be reversed. The sooner a person is diagnosed and takes action, the more likely they'll be able to reverse it and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Clinical Definition of Prediabetes
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so, you may have it and not know it. Results indicating prediabetes are:
|A1C||5.7% – 6.4%|
|Fasting blood glucose||Between 100 – 125 mg/dL|
|Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) 2 hour blood glucose||140 mg/dL – 199 mg/dL|
- Being overweight
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Getting older
- Family history of Type 2 diabetes
- Membership in a racial or ethnic minority group
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Having metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol) or having even one of these symptoms
- Having history of gestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Research shows that you can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
- Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a difference. Interested in learning more about improving self-management skills? Check out the information we have for the evidence-based lifestyle change program, National Diabetes Prevention Program.
- Small Steps, Big Rewards, Your Game Plan to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Health Care Provider Toolkit (National Diabetes Education Program website)
- Insulin Resistance and prediabetes (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website)
- American Diabetes Association (ADA) website
- Do I Have Prediabetes?
- Do I Have Prediabetes? (Español)
Wondering if you have prediabetes? The CDC has a test available to help you assess your risk It's fast, it's easy, and it could help you avoid type 2 diabetes.
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