About Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

There are about 98 million American adults who have prediabetes – that’s 1 in 3 adults! Of those 98 million, more than 8 in 10 of them don’t even know they have it. Without taking action, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

With numbers like that, it’s important to learn about prediabetes and take action.

Take our online test to find out if you are at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. A print version of the Prediabetes Risk Test [PDF – 263 KB] is also available.

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.

What are prediabetes and diabetes?

With type 2 diabetes, your body cannot properly use insulin (a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells of the body). You can get type 2 diabetes at any age, but you are at higher risk if you are older, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are not physically active, or are a woman who had gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that some women get when they are pregnant. Even if a woman’s blood sugar levels go down after her baby is born, she is at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

With type 1 diabetes, your body cannot make insulin, so you need to take insulin every day. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2; approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Learn more

Who is at Risk for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?

Are you at Risk?
Group of people looking at camera, smiling

Find out if you are at risk by taking the Prediabetes and Diabetes Risk Test or download a print version [PDF – 263 KB] of the test.

If you have these risk factors, you may be at higher risk than others for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • You are overweight.
  • You are 45 years of age or older.
  • Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • You are physically active fewer than 3 times per week.
  • You ever gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
  • You ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes).

Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Following are the percentage of people in the United States with diagnosed diabetes from 2017 to 2020:

  • Non-Hispanic Blacks – 12.7%
  • Hispanics – 11.1%
  • Non-Hispanic Asians – 11.3%
  • Non-Hispanic Whites – 11.0%

If you are at risk, talk to a health care professional about getting a blood sugar test.

Diabetes Has Serious Consequences

Diabetes Is Serious and Common

Diabetes is currently the eighth leading cause of death in the United States—and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be under-reported! Today, 1 in 10 US adults has diabetes, and 1 in 5 don’t know they have it.

An additional 98 million US adults—1 in 3—have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years, which puts them at risk of serious health problems, including:

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

“Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.”

Diabetes is Costly

Type 2 diabetes affects millions of individuals and their families, workplaces, and the U.S. health care system. 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. The majority of expenses are related to hospitalizations and medications used to treat complications of diabetes.

You Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes—Get Started Today!

If you have prediabetes, a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program is one of the most effective ways to prevent getting type 2 diabetes. It can help you lose weight, become more active, and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. To learn more, visit Why Participate?

If you’re not sure if you’re at risk, take this online test or ask your health care professional about getting a blood sugar test.

A print version of the Prediabetes Risk Test [PDF – 263 KB] is also available.

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Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, Barker LE, Williamson DF. (2010). Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Population Health Metrics. Available from http://www.pophealthmetrics.com/content/8/1/29.

Knowler WC, Barrett-Conner E, Fowler SE, et al.; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med 2002;346:393–403. Available from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa012512#t=articleTop.

American Diabetes Association. Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018;41(5):917-928. Available from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/5/917