Disease Prediabetes


What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes1.

  • Sometimes prediabetes may be called borderline diabetes, impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.
  • People with prediabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke1.
  • Without changes to their lifestyle, between 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years3.

Who is at risk for prediabetes?

  • Older adults: Prediabetes is more common among older adults. Around 25 percent of 18 to 44 year-olds have prediabetes. This nearly doubles for adults 45 and older5.
  • Overweight or obese adults: Nearly two out of three adults in Minnesota were overweight or obese in 20152. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have prediabetes than people who are normal weight.
  • Adults who get little physical activity: In 2015, around 1 in 5 adult Minnesotans said they did not participate in any physical activity in the last month2. Physical activity is associated with maintaining a healthy weight and lowering risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Who should get tested for prediabetes?

People with prediabetes do not always have symptoms or other health problems related to prediabetes and diabetes. Ask your doctor about getting tested if you are over the age of 45 or between the ages of 18 to 44 and overweight or obese, and have one or more of the following risk factors.

Risk factors

  • A family background that is African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino or Pacific Islander
  • A birth parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Delivered a baby that weighed 9 pounds or more
  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL or “good” cholesterol
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Dark patches in skinfolds on the neck, armpits or groin
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Not physically active

Take the American Diabetes Association’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test to see if you should be tested.

How can I reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes?

Make lifestyle changes that have been shown to reduce diabetes risk. They include:

  • Moderate weight loss – 5 to 7 percent of starting weight. That means losing 10 to 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds.
  • Reduce extra fat or calories. Tip: cook with olive oil instead of butter and keep track of how much you use while cooking.
  • Increase physical activity to a goal of at least 150 minutes per week. Tip: Get it in 10, 15 or 30 minute chunks.

Join a National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a proven lifestyle change program to support you in making lifestyle changes.

Talk with your healthcare provider about other options, such as using the prescription metformin, which can help some people delay or prevent type 2 diabetes4.

Join activities in your community that are helping to make healthy eating and more physical activity easy. Learn more at SHIP: The Statewide Health Improvement Program

For more information

Quick Facts – Prediabetes in Minnesota – find Minnesota data on prediabetes risk, and economic costs.

Prediabetes in Minnesota Fact Sheet (PDF) Updated October 2016

If you have questions about prediabetes in Minnesota, contact: Renée Kidney (651) 201-5429.

1CDC, National Diabetes Statistics Report 2017
2CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, MDH analysis
3CDC, Diabetes Data and Trends
4Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2015