Only half of Americans with prediabetes take steps to avoid progression to diabetes, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Prediabetes is defined as:
- fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dl (5.56–6.94 mmol/l) or
- blood sugar level 140–199 mg/dl (7.78–11.06 mmol/l) two hours after drinking 75 grams of glucose
Prediabetes is a strong risk factor for development of full-blown diabetes. It’s also associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. One of every four adults with prediabetes develops diabetes over the next 3 to 5 years. The progression can often be prevented by lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, moderate-intensity exercise, and modest weight loss.
Investigators looked at 1,402 adult participants in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who had fasting blood sugar tests and oral glucose tolerance tests diagnostic of prediabetes.
The researchers estimate that 30% (almost one out of every three) of the adult U.S. population had prediabetes in 2005-2006, but only 7% of them (less than one in 10) were aware they had it.
Only half of the prediabetics in this survey reported attempts at preventative lifestyle changes in the prior year. Only one of every three prediabetics reported hearing about risk reduction advice from their healthcare provider.
People, we’ve got to do better!
My fellow physicians, we’ve got to do better!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that one of every three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes. The great majority of this will be type 2 diabetes. You understand now why James Hirsch, author of Cheating Destiny, calls diabetes America’s leading public health crisis. I agree.
Reference: Geiss, Linda S., et al. Diabetes risk reduction behaviors among U.S. adults with prediabetes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38 (2010): 403-409.