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What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes.1
- 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 stroke.1
- Without changes to lifestyle, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.2
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 older.1
- Overweight or obese adults: Nearly two out of three adults in Minnesota were overweight or obese in 2017.3 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 2017, around 1 in 4 adult Minnesotans said they did not participate in any physical activity in the last month.3 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 signs of illness or health problems. Ask your doctor about getting tested if you are over the age of 45 or are between the ages of 18 to 44 and overweight or obese. In addition, if any of the following is true for you, you are at greater risk for prediabetes:
- 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 skin folds on the neck, armpits or groin
- History of cardiovascular disease
- Not physically active
Take the Prediabetes Risk Test and talk to your primary care provider to see if you should be tested.
How can I reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes?
Make lifestyle changes
- Moderate weight loss - Lose 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight. That means losing 10 to 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds.
- Reduce extra fat or calories - Try cooking with olive oil instead of butter and keep track of how much you use. Count calories and stick to proper portion sizes. Use the CDC's Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight as a resource.
- Increase physical activity to reach a goal of at least 150 minutes per week. Start by working in movement for 10, 15 or 30-minute chunks of time.
Join the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)
The National DPP is a proven lifestyle change program to support you in making lifestyle changes.
This program is based on research. The study found people who participated in the National DPP had a 58 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people with prediabetes who were not in the program. Even ten years later, fewer people in the lifestyle change program had developed type 2 diabetes. 1
Find a National DPP class near you and learn more about diabetes prevention.
Talk to your provider
Your health care team can help you identify other ways to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, such as considering taking prescription medications like metformin.4 Together, you can set goals and take steps to achieve them.
Join local activities
Seek out programs that can help you become more physically active and begin eating healthier. The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) has several initiatives in communities throughout Minnesota which encourage active living, healthy eating and tobacco-free living.
More information about prediabetes
Prediabetes in Minnesota Fact Sheet (PDF) - updated March 2022
Prediabetes: Your Change to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes - Prediabetes information and resources from the CDC.