Don’t let the “pre” fool you—prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it. (We can use Arkansas statistics here instead.)
Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
You Can Reverse It!
The good news is that if you have prediabetes, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes:
Race and Ethnicity Puts You at a Higher Risk
- African Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In addition, they are more likely to suffer complications from diabetes, such as end-stage renal disease and lower extremity amputations. They are also more likely to have high blood pressure.
- Hispanics/Latinos are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with diabetes by a physician. They have higher rates of end-stage renal disease, caused by diabetes, and they are 40 percent more likely to die from diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
- Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans also have increased risks.
Other Risk Factors
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older
- Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Having ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
What is A1C?
The A1C test—also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test—is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. It’s one of the commonly used tests to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, and is also the main test to help you and your health care team manage your diabetes. Higher A1C levels are linked to diabetes complications, so reaching and maintaining your individual A1C goal is really important if you have diabetes. You will need to get this test through your health care provider.