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    Prediabetes: Know Your Risk

    Traci Fritschle PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM 07/09/2021
    Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it can cause serious health complications if not managed properly. Did you know that prediabetes is also a serious health condition? Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. More than 88 million US adults, or 1 in 3, have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. 

    A person with prediabetes is not only at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but also at higher risks for heart disease and stroke. The sooner you know you have prediabetes and start taking steps to address it, the better your chances will be for preventing type 2 diabetes and its associated complications.

    What are the risk factors?

    There are several risk factors for prediabetes:
    • Being overweight
    • Aged 45 or older
    • Having a family history of prediabetes and/or type 2 diabetes
    • Being physically active less than 3 times a week
    • Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
    • Having polycystic ovary syndrome
    Testing for prediabetes

    You can be tested for prediabetes by getting a simple blood sugar test. Ask your doctor if you should be tested. 

    Steps for prevention

    If prediabetes is not addressed and impacted now, there is a prediction for an increased risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 50% over the next five years - and a diagnosis of diabetes can have distressing effects on individuals and their families. 

    So the time to act is now!

    The American Medical Association (AMA) and the CDC outlines three important steps to prevent diabetes:

    1. Know your risk and screen yourself with these two self-screening options: 2. Know your numbers:
    • CDC and ADA Lab Qualifiers:
      • Fasting Glucose: 100-124 mg/dl 
      • A1C: 5.7% - 6.4%
      • Oral Glucose: 200 mg/dl or higher
    ​​3.  Get help!

    It is vital to take steps now to change the path of a future diagnosis of diabetes. Unlike diabetes, prediabetes is REVERSIBLE and you have the power to change your path!

    Deaconess Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)

    The Deaconess Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has been CDC certified since 2017. CDC-led Diabetes Prevention Programs can help individuals make changes and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (and 71% for those over the age of 60). The program is overseen by a specially trained, CDC certified life coach. Deaconess DPP was the first program in the state of Indiana to be approved as a Medicare Supplier for these services and only one of 4 in the whole state currently certified.


    National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
    Do I Have Prediabetes?
    Permut MD, Stephen R. How to prevent diabetes from sneaking up on your patients. 21 Jan. 2016
    Berg, Sara. This physician gets a leg up on diabetes prevention referral. 19 Jul. 2019

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