HealthDay News — One-in-three Americans has prediabetes, according to the CDC, but most are unaware of their condition, study results suggest.

Only about 11% of the estimated 79 million Americans who had prediabetes in 2009-2010 identified themselves as such, YanFeng Li, MD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues reported in Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Furthermore, from 2005 to 2010, less than 14% of the U.S. population were aware of the condition.

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Although diet and exercise interventions can halt disease progression, approximately 11% of those with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within three years of prediabetes onset, according to the CDC.

“In the United States, persons with prediabetes, including those with regular access to health care, might benefit from efforts aimed at making them aware that they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and that they can reduce that risk by making modest lifestyle changes,” the researchers wrote.

Older age, more education, being obese or overweight, family history of diabetes and taking medication for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia increased the likelihood that a person was aware of having prediabetes.

Patients with health insurance, those who received care at a doctor’s office or clinic rather than an ED or other outpatient setting, and those who visited the doctor more frequently in the previous 12 months were also more informed about their condition.

The researchers called for more evidence-based lifestyle programs to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, with a focus on “increasing physical activity, improving diet, and achieving moderate weight loss among those with prediabetes and BMI ≥24.0 kg/m2.”

“Efforts are needed to increase awareness,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Mar 22;62:209-212.