Does Someone In Your Family Need Pre-Diabetes Screening?
Certain members of your family - adult children, siblings, cousins - might save themselves from future health problems by getting screened for pre-diabetes* now.
The CDC reports more than one out of three U.S. adults aged 20 and older already have pre-diabetes. Unless lifestyle changes are implemented, 15 to 30 percent of these approximately 86 million Americans will meet the criteria for a diabetes diagnosis within five years.
Statistics also show almost half of people over 45 will at some point develop pre-diabetes, and 75 percent of individuals with above normal glucose levels at age 45 will eventually be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
These numbers strongly suggest that:
- Everyone aged 45 and older should talk to their doctor about blood glucose testing.
- Those younger than 45 who are overweight, and have another diabetes risk factor should discuss blood glucose testing with their physician.
Besides being 45 or older, and being overweight, other risk factors for pre-diabetes/diabetes are:
- A family history of diabetes.
- An inactive lifestyle.
- Elevated blood pressure (140/90 mm/Hg or higher).
- Low HDL cholesterol (less than 35 mg/dL) or elevated triglycerides (250 mg/dL or above).
- Being of African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Alaskan native, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or Asian American descent.
- Having dark, thickened skin around the armpits, or neck.
- Developing diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), or delivering a baby weighing more than nine pounds.
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome.
- A disease history involving the blood vessels to the legs, brain, or heart.
Screening for pre-diabetes is important because simple lifestyle changes can significantly lower blood glucose levels to prevent diabetes onset. Those who are overweight, for instance, can reduce their diabetes risk by 58 percent just by losing 5 to 7 pounds.
So, share this information with friends, and encourage family members who may be at risk to consult with their doctor about pre-diabetes screening.
*Someone with pre-diabetes has higher than normal blood sugar that isn’t elevated enough for a diabetes diagnosis.