What is prediabetes?A mother and daughter

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. People with prediabetes are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with normal blood sugar levels.
Sometimes people call it borderline diabetes, impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.

How many people are affected by prediabetes?

  • National data suggest 1 in every 3 adult Americans has prediabetes.  For adults aged 65 years and older 1 in every 2 has prediabetes.a
  • In Minnesota there may be as many as 1.4 million adults who have prediabetes.

Who is at risk of developing prediabetes?

Factors that make someone at risk for developing type 2 diabetes also put people at risk for prediabetes.b

  • Older age
  • Birth parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • Had gestational diabetes when pregnant or delivered a baby weighing 9 lbs or more
  • Family background that is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL or good cholesterol
  • High total cholesterol
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Dark patches in skinfolds- neck, armpits or groin

Many factors, like your family background, are impossible to change, but some like being overweight or obese and getting little or no physical activity can be improved, even if one small step at a time.

To learn more about prediabetes see the Prediabetes in Minnesota Fact Sheet and for information about diabetes, see the Diabetes in Minnesota Fact Sheeton the Minnesota Department of Health Diabetes Data page.

a2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet
bNDEP Guiding Principles for Diabetes Care

Preventing type 2 Diabetes

People with prediabetes can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes development

Research studies around the world have shown that making small changes in lifestyle can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes for people who are overweight and have prediabetes.
These changes are:

  • losing 7% of bodyweight (about 15 lbs if you weigh 200 lbs)
  • exercising at least 150 minutes a week

People with prediabetes who participated in a program to help make these changes were 58% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes three years later than people who did not participate in the program. Learn more about this study.

Most people with prediabetes do not know they have it

National studies show 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes. Only about 1 in 10 know they have it.
Take the quiz (on the top right side of your screen) to see if you might have prediabetes.  Talk with your provider about your results and how to keep your type 2 diabetes risk low or, if you are at high-risk, how to make your risk lower.
Small steps can have big rewards. Visit the NDEP website for more about staying healthy and small steps you can take.

People who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and are overweight can improve their knowledge and get support to make lifestyle changes

The National Diabetes Prevention Program can help adults 18 years of age and older who are overweight and:

  • Have prediabetes diagnosed by blood glucose testing
  • Have had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy or
  • Score 9 points or more on the risk test.

Talk with your provider about participating in the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Learn more about the program by watching this video.

a2012 MMWR article – Awareness of Prediabetes, United States 2005-2010

National Diabetes Prevention Program

What is it?

A partnership led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that aims to build a network of lifestyle change programs for people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which includes people with prediabetes.  Many different organizations are partners.  Learn more about the program.

What is the program structure?

National Diabetes Prevention Program groups meet for 1 year.

  • Each week for the first 4 months
  • One time per month for 8 months

Participants learn about healthy eating, increasing physical activity, and setting and achieving goals. Groups of 8 to 15 people start the program at the same time. The groups are led by a Lifestyle Coach who facilitates group discussion and helps people in the group to find solutions to challenges when making lifestyle changes. Learn more about the program through this video.

What is it based on?

The program is based on a randomized-control trial showing that changes in lifestyle including

  • losing 7% of bodyweight (about 15 lbs if you weigh 200 lbs)
  • exercising at least 150 minutes a week

reduced type 2 diabetes risk among people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The curriculum from this trial was changed from a 1 on 1 program to a group program and tested. Again, participants lost weight and saw other positive health changes (like lower blood pressure and cholesterol) as was seen in the original randomized control trial.  Many other studies have delivered the program and found participants successfully achieving desired lifestyle changes.

How can I be a part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

Many organizations provide the National Diabetes Program to Minnesotans. They have many names for the same program such as:

  • I CAN Prevent Diabetes
  • We Can Prevent Diabetes
  • YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program
  • and more.

Find programs in Minnesota and their contact information from the I CAN Prevent Diabetes website and contact them today.


Individuals and Communities Acting Now to Prevent Diabetes©