A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease, and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  84.1 million people have prediabetes, which, if left untreated, will develop into type 2 diabetes within five years.

A person with certain risk factors is more likely to develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include: age, especially after 45 years of age; being overweight or obese; a family history of diabetes; having an African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic background; a history of diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or having given birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more; and being physically active less than three times a week.

If you do have prediabetes, research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5% to 7% of your body weight, which would be 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person; and get at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking.

Lifestyle change programs offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is led by CDC, can help you reach these goals. Trained lifestyle coaches lead classes to help participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes.

Visit CDC’s online registry of recognized organizations to find out if there is a lifestyle class 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 addition, maybe you know of a local organization—gym, faith-based organization, health care facility, or other—that would be a good host for the classes. Please share this information with them.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last Reviewed: August 23, 2018