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Millions with prediabetes unaware of their condition

Thursday March 21, 2013
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In 2010, about one in three U.S. adults ages 20 years and older, an estimated 79 million people, had prediabetes, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New research showed only 11% of people with prediabetes were aware they had the condition, in which blood glucose or hemoglobin A1c levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Furthermore, awareness of prediabetes was less than 14% regardless of educational level, income level, health insurance status or healthcare access status.

Americans with prediabetes, including those with regular access to healthcare, might benefit from efforts to make them aware they are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that they can reduce their risk by making modest lifestyle changes, according to the report.

People who are unaware of their risk should speak with their healthcare provider about the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. People ages 45 years and older or those who are overweight or obese and have other risk factors should speak with their provider about getting tested. Other risk factors include family history of diabetes; African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American or Pacific-Islander race/ethnicity; having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more or having a history of gestational diabetes; and being physically active fewer than three times a week.

People with prediabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes, such as moderate weight loss, healthy food choices and increased physical activity, noted the authors of the report.

The study appears in the March 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and is available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6211a4.htm?s_cid=mm6211a4_w.


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