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February 2016

Prediabetes Affects 1 in 3 American Adults

Do you have prediabetes? You might not know if you do. In fact, more than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has prediabetes, according to the CDC.

Man in winter coat, with skis over his shoulder

And having prediabetes makes it more likely that you will develop type 2 diabetes, heart attack, or stroke.

Prediabetes means that you have higher than normal blood sugar (glucose), but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Building awareness

Because so many Americans have prediabetes, the CDC has launched an awareness program to help encourage people to get tested for the condition. If you have prediabetes, making lifestyle changes may help stop it from progressing to type 2 diabetes. Without treatment, up to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

The CDC has put together a simple online tool to measure prediabetes risk.

"This is a very simple and quick tool that will allow people to see if they are at risk for prediabetes or diabetes," says Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, M.D., an endocrinologist. "If they are at higher risk, this will hopefully prompt them to seek medical attention sooner."

What to do

If you do have prediabetes, making these lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight.

  • Reducing calories by watching how large your food portions are

  • Eating fewer foods with refined sugars

  • Exercising for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week

"As soon as someone discovers they may be at risk of prediabetes, they should talk with their physician about further testing to confirm their diagnosis and discuss the necessary lifestyle changes needed to help prevent type 2 diabetes," says Andrew Gurman, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA).

The CDC teamed up with the AMA and the American Diabetes Association to promote the prediabetes awareness program.

 

Learn more about prediabetes.

 

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