Pre-Diabetes: Are You at Risk?
NOVEMBER 01, 2012
Seventy-nine million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes. Here are some things that you need to know about the condition from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and our clinical partner, the Joslin Diabetes Center.
What is Pre-Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Who is at Risk?
People who have a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older and those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:
- You are generally physically inactive
- You have a family history of diabetes
- You are a member of certain ethnic groups (including Asian American, African-American, Hispanic American, and Native American)
- You have had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds at birth, or you had gestational diabetes
- You have high blood pressure
- You have had pre-diabetes in the past
If you have any of the above risk factors, you should be tested for pre-diabetes.
What are the Tests for Pre-Diabetes?
There are two ways to screen for pre-diabetes, the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) and the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Both tests require that you do not eat or drink for at least 8 hours before blood is drawn, usually overnight.
- FPG - This test measures your blood glucose first thing in the morning, before eating. Normal fasting blood glucose is below 100 mg/dl. If your fasting blood glucose level is between 100 and 125 mg, you have impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
- OGTT - This test measures blood glucose first thing in the morning, and again two hours after drinking a sugary liquid. Normal blood glucose is below 140 mg/dl 2 hours after drinking the liquid. If your 2-hour blood glucose is 140 to 199 mg/dl, you have
impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
If I Have Pre-Diabetes, What Can I Do to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes from Developing?
Joslin Diabetes Center took part in a study called the Diabetes Prevention Program. This large scale study showed that the best way to prevent type 2 diabetes is:
- Moderate weight loss (5-10 percent of body weight)
- 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week
These two changes combined can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half!
Posted November 2012
Joslin Diabetes Center
A Clinical Partner of BIDMC
One Joslin Place
Boston, MA 02215