The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 of every 3 U.S. adults had prediabetes in 2010. That is 79 million Americans age 20 years or older. The vast majority of people living with prediabetes do not know they have it.
People with prediabetes have blood glucose (blood sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes and are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
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. When you take steps to prevent Type 2 diabetes, you also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes, like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.
Many factors increase your risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. To find out more about your risk, see which characteristics in this list apply to you.
- I am 45 years of age or older.
- I am overweight.
- I have a parent with diabetes.
- I have a sister or brother with diabetes.
- My family background is African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
- I had diabetes while I was pregnant (gestational diabetes), or I gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
- I am physically active less than three 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, like loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
Find out if you could have prediabetes by taking the screening test on this page. If the test shows you could have prediabetes, talk to a health care provider as soon as possible.
If you are 45 years of age or older, you should consider getting a blood test from a health care provider for prediabetes and diabetes, especially if you are overweight.
If your test results indicate you have prediabetes you should enroll in an evidence-based lifestyle 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 percent of their 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.
If your blood test showed you have prediabetes you should also have your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels checked again in six months to a year.