According to the latest statistics, about one in three US adults 20 years and older have prediabetes, but only 11% are aware of their status.
The finding is reported in the March 22, 2013 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Awareness of prediabetes was low, “regardless of education level, income level, coverage by health insurance or other kind of healthcare plan, or healthcare use,”
During 2005-2006, only 7% of US adults were aware that they had prediabetes. In this report, Li and colleagues sought to determine whether this awareness had increased in 2009-2010.
The researchers identified 2603 participants with prediabetes, as defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) 100 to 125 mg/dL or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of 5.7% to 6.4%.
They compared the prevalence of prediabetes awareness across a variety of factors, including age, race or ethnicity, sex, education level, poverty-to-income ratio, access to healthcare, having health insurance or other healthcare coverage at the time of interview, number of doctor visits in the past year, and having a usual source of healthcare such as a doctor’s office or health clinic.
The analysis showed that the percentage of persons with prediabetes who were aware of their status was slightly higher (11%) in 2009-2010 than it was in 2005-2006 (p=0.04), although the awareness remained low.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing in the US and that the disease can be prevented or delayed among those at high risk “by modest weight loss, good nutritional practices, and increased physical activity.”
The note concludes by calling for improved identification and awareness of prediabetes. These are “critical first steps to encourage those with prediabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes or to enroll in evidence-based, lifestyle-change programs aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes.”