What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes indicates that an individual has blood glucose levels that are higher than what is considered to be normal, however, their levels are not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Prediabetes is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
Risk factors
  • Weight: being overweight due to an increase in fatty tissue especially around the abdomen. Which can make it harder for your cells to absorb insulin. 
  • Waist size: Women with a waist size larger than 35 inches and men with waists larger than 40 inches may be more likely to have resistance to insulin.
  • Dietary patterns: Processed foods and sugary drinks lead to an increased risk. 
  • Inactivity: Exercising less than 3 times a week  
  • Age: Those above the age of 45 are more likely to develop prediabetes as they tend to lose muscle mass and gain weight, this is associated with decreases in exercise. 
  • Family history: There is an increased risk if a family member has type 2 diabetes
  • Race: African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are more likely to develop prediabetes. 
  • Gestational diabetes: both the mother and child are at an increased risk if this develops.
  • Sleep: people with sleep disorders or shift work are at increased risk. 
Most individuals are diagnosed with prediabetes while they are being tested for possibly having diabetes. The test results that indicate prediabetes are:
  • A1C of 5.7-6.4%
  • This test measures average blood glucose for the past 2-3 months
  • Fasting blood glucose of 100-125mg/dl
  • Cannot eat or drink anything other than water 8 hours prior to the test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) of 140-199mg/dl
  • Test that occurs 2 hours after drinking a sweet drink that indicates the way in which your body processes glucose 
  • 1 in 3 US adults has prediabetes, but most do not know it. Without treatment, it can become type 2 diabetes within 2 years. 
  • 84.1 million or 33% of American adults have prediabetes
  • 23.1 million adults over the age of 65 have prediabetes 
Doctor measuring the stomach of an overweight man

  • "Diabetes Home." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 July 2017. Web 8 June 2018.
  • "Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning About Prediabetes." American Diabetes Association, Web 8 June 2018. 
  • "Prediabetes." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2 Aug. 2017. Web 8 June 2018. 



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