More than one-third of Americans have prediabetes, but 90 percent of them don’t know they have it, medical experts say.
Prediabetes often leads to type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
But research shows that people who know they have prediabetes are more likely to make lifestyle changes that can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day, and the American Medical Association (AMA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a campaign to raise awareness about prediabetes and encourage people to find out if they have the condition.
“Prediabetes can often be reversed, and type 2 diabetes prevented, by losing weight, eating healthier and being more physically active,” said Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
“Men and women with prediabetes can cut their risk when they participate in a CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program, scientifically proven programs to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes,” Albright said in an AMA/CDC news release.
Those who get a high score are directed to speak with their doctor to confirm a diagnosis of prediabetes, and then enroll in the CDC program.
The campaign website also offers healthy lifestyle tips and a link to a registry of more than 1,700 in-person and online CDC-recognized programs nationwide.
“Our goal with this campaign is to help more of the 84 million Americans living with prediabetes find out whether they have prediabetes and urge them to talk with their physician as soon as they find out they may be at risk,” said AMA President Dr. Barbara McAneny.
“We encourage anyone who learns through the test that they may be at risk for prediabetes to consult their doctor to confirm a prediabetes diagnosis and find out how lifestyle changes can help them prevent type 2 diabetes,” McAneny added.
About 30 million Americans have diabetes, and the number of adults diagnosed with the disease has more than tripled in the past 20 years. Take the CDC “Do I Have Prediabetes” test.