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Prediabetes: Do You Have It and Not Know It?

Is your blood sugar level higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes?  If so, you may have a condition known as prediabetes.  Having prediabetes puts you at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It also increases your risk for other serious health problems, like heart disease and stroke.

African American couple smiling at each other, approx. age 60


Could YOU have prediabetes? 

About 33% of U.S. adults have prediabetes.  That’s about 1 of every 3 people.  And most people with prediabetes are not aware of their condition. 

Take the National Diabetes Prevention Program quiz and find out if you are at risk.  If you do have prediabetes, research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes:

Unless they make lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.


Risk Factors for Prediabetes

Certain risk factors make it more likely that you will develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include:


 Help with Making Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle change programs can help you reach these goals.  One example is the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the CDC.  Trained lifestyle coaches lead classes to help you:

Visit CDC’s online registry to find out if a lifestyle class is being offered at this time in your community.

If you don’t find a CDC-recognized program in your area, a local YMCA may offer a similar program. Visit the Y program Web site for information about more local programs.  In Ohio, the Department on Aging often works through the YMCAs to offer the “Healthy U Diabetes Program”.

Your county Ohio State University Extension office might also offer a diabetes cooking school called “Dining with Diabetes.” Visit www.diabetes.osu.edu for more information.  “Dining with Diabetes” is offered by Extension offices in many other states as well.


Points to Remember

Making healthy lifestyle changes that increase your physical activity and lower your weight can help you  prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.


Hope Through Research - You Can Be Part of the Answer!

Many research studies are underway to help us learn about prediabetes. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:



Diabetes Public Health Resource
Diabetes Report Card 2012: National and State Profile of Diabetes and Its Complications


For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Feb 18, 2013

Daniel T. Remley, PhD
Assistant Professor
Field Specialist, Food Nutrition & Wellness
OSU Extension
College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Science
The Ohio State University