1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, do you?

Get tested for prediabetes to start taking preventive action.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American adults have prediabetes, a condition that means someone is at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is currently the eighth leading cause of death in the nation. More than 80% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Prediabetes can lead to Type 2 diabetes, so the sooner you know you have prediabetes, the sooner you can take action to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes or other serious health conditions.

Risk factors for prediabetes

Prediabetes doesn’t usually show symptoms, which is why it’s important to talk to your primary care physician (PCP) about getting tested to know for sure. A simple blood test will confirm if you have prediabetes. Risk factors for prediabetes include:

  • Being older than 45 years old
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Being less physically active (less than three times a week)
  • Having a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds
  • Having high blood pressure or being overweight

If you have any of these risk factors, you should talk to your PCP to see if testing is needed. Getting tested for prediabetes is easy and generally involves bloodwork.

When to screen for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes in adults aged 35-70 who are overweight or obese.

How to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes

If you do test positive for prediabetes, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight is a great place to start. Incorporating 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week can also help you lower your risk. The National Diabetes Prevention Program also advises people to eat healthier, manage stress and get the support they need to stay motivated.

Helpful ways to find support

Getting tested and taking preventive measures are the best ways to reduce your risk of diabetes.

Sharp HealthCare offers a diabetes education program to help those with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes manage their care. Sharp Health Plan also offers a diabetes and hypertension preventive care checklist to help you manage the condition before it becomes serious.

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