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About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes

Over eighty-four million Americans now have prediabetes – that’s 1 out of 3 adults! Of those 84 million, 9 out of 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Without taking action, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

With numbers like that, it’s important to learn about prediabetes and take action.

What are Prediabetes and Diabetes?

Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal—but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Prediabetes can often be reversed.

With type 2 diabetes, your body cannot properly use insulin (a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells of the body). You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, but you are at higher risk if you are older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are not physically active, or are a woman who had gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that some women get when they are pregnant. Even if a woman’s blood sugar levels go down after her baby is born, she is at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

Who is at Risk for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?

If you have these risk factors, you may be at higher risk than others for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • You are overweight.
  • You are 45 years of age or older.
  • Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • You are physically active fewer than 3 times per week.
  • You ever gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
  • You ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes).

Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Take a risk assessment quiz at doihaveprediabetes.org

Can I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

Research shows that CDC-recognized lifestyle change program participants who lost 5-7% of their body weight and added 150 minutes of exercise per week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

Even a decade later, program participants were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than individuals who did not join a program.

The program can also lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, improve your health, help you feel more energetic, and even reverse your prediabetes diagnosis.

What is the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

A CDC-recognized lifestyle change program is a structured program—in person or online—developed specifically to prevent type 2 diabetes. It is designed for people who have prediabetes or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, but who do not already have diabetes.

A trained lifestyle coach leads the program to help you change certain aspects of your lifestyle, like eating healthier, reducing stress, and getting more physical activity. The program also includes group support from others who share your goals and struggles.

This lifestyle change program is not a fad diet or an exercise class. And it’s not a quick fix. It’s a year-long program focused on long-term changes and lasting results.

A year might sound like a long commitment, but learning new habits, gaining new skills, and building confidence takes time. As you begin to eat better and become more active, you’ll notice changes in how you feel, and maybe even in how you look.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be overweight (body mass index above 24, or 22 if you are Asian)
  • Have NOT been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • NOT be pregnant

In addition, you must meet ONE of the following criteria (unless you are enrolling in a program covered by Medicare):

  • Have had a recent blood test in the prediabetes range, which includes one of the following tests and results:
    Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7–6.4% or
    Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL or
    Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL
  • Have received a result of high risk for type 2 diabetes on the Prediabetes Risk Test.
  • A doctor previously diagnosed you with gestational diabetes.

If you are enrolling in a program covered by Medicare, you MUST have had a recent blood test in the prediabetes range, which includes one of the following tests and results:

  • Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7–6.4% or
  • Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL or
  • Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL

Ready to make a change? Find a Program today.