About Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Key points

  • Certain factors increase your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is common, is serious, and with lifestyle changes can be prevented or delayed.
  • The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program can help.
Older adult woman and man standing outdoors and looking at the camera

What are prediabetes and diabetes?

Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Prediabetes can often be reversed.

Take the test‎

Find out if you are at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. A print version of the Prediabetes Risk Test is also available.

In the United States, about 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of them don't know they have it. Without taking action, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

With type 2 diabetes, your body can't effectively use insulin (a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells of the body). You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, but certain factors increase your risk.

Keep Reading: Diabetes Risk Factors


If you have prediabetes, the National DPP lifestyle change program is one of the most effective ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. In the program, you'll learn skills to help you lose weight, become more active, and improve your overall health.

Type 2 diabetes has serious consequences

Diabetes is serious ‎

Diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be underreported.

Diabetes increases the risk of serious health problems, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of toes, feet, or legs

Diabetes is costly

In 2022, the total cost of care for people with diagnosed diabetes was $413 billion. About 1 in 4 health care dollars is spent on people with diagnosed diabetes. Most expenses are related to hospitalizations and medicines used to treat diabetes complications.