About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes
More than 84 million US adults—that’s 1 in 3—have prediabetes. With prediabetes, blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk for type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), heart disease, and stroke.
In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the US population has aged and become more overweight. Now more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, which increases their risk for a long list of serious health problems, including:
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Loss of toes, feet, or legs
The good news: the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program’s lifestyle change program can help people with prediabetes prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems and improve their overall health. It’s scientifically proven, and it works.
Diabetes has an enormous economic impact on millions of individuals and their families, on workplaces, and on the US health care system.
- In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes was $327 billion ($237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in lost productivity), up 26% over a 5-year period.
- About 1 in 4 health care dollars is spent on people with diagnosed diabetes.
- Medical expenses for people diagnosed with diabetes—$16,750 annually on average—are about 2.3 times higher than for people without diabetes.
Don’t let the “pre” in prediabetes fool you—prediabetes is a serious health condition that can develop into even more serious health conditions.
If you find out you have prediabetes, ask your doctor to refer you to a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program. Through the program, you’ll take small, manageable steps that add up to lasting lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics/statistics-report.html.
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 http://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
- Page last reviewed: June 11, 2018
- Page last updated: February 21, 2019
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