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What are the risks of prediabetes?

Risks for prediabetes include being overweight, obesity, a family history of type 2 diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes, being over 45 years old, a history of high blood pressure, a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and a low activity level. Certain ethnic groups are also at increased risk, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. Although prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes such as modest weight loss and regular physical activity can be very effective and greatly reduce that risk by up to 58%.
If you have prediabetes, you have more sugar (glucose) in your blood than normal -- but not so much that you can be diagnosed with diabetes. Your high blood glucose puts you at increased risk
for serious health problems, including the following:
  • Developing diabetes. Many people with prediabetes go on to develop diabetes. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that can cause problems throughout your body.
  • Having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem. Compared to a person with normal blood glucose levels, you have a 50% greater chance of heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to lower your blood glucose -- and lower your health risks at the same time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.