Prediabetes is a medical term that describes when a person’s glucose metabolism is impaired. This is based on fasting blood glucose levels or the levels two hours after ingesting glucose. Or, it is when HbA1c is between 5.7 and 6.4%. While these glucose levels are not high enough to make a diagnosis of diabetes, there is a risk that a person can progress to type 2 diabetes over time. The question that concerns researchers is if prediabetes can lead to other poor health outcomes.

Prediabetes needs to be taken seriously

Now researchers from Germany have assessed the available literature on the risks associated with pre-diabetes itself. They found that, in the general population, prediabetes can be associated with a 6 – 101% increased risk for early death as well cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation (irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm) and chronic kidney disease. There also appears to be a risk of some cancers, including liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and breast cancer. People with prediabetes also have an increased chance of developing dementia (memory loss disorder) later in life. On the positive side, prediabetes does not appear to be linked with depression.

We know that prediabetes is common in people around the world. As a result, people with prediabetes need to be offered lifestyle interventions to reduce their risk of potentially serious associated medical conditions.


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