Only about one in eight people with prediabetes know of their condition, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study, which appeared online June 16, examined the impact of prediabetes awareness on the odds of engagement in diabetes risk-reduction behaviors.
“People with prediabetes who lose a modest amount of weight and increase their physical activity are less likely to develop diabetes,” Anjali Gopalan, MD, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, said in a Reuters article. “Our study importantly shows that individuals with prediabetes who were aware of this diagnosis were more likely to engage in some of these effective and recommended healthy lifestyle changes.”
According to the CDC, two out of five Americans are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. And of 29 million Americans who have diabetes, one in four are not aware they have it.
The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on adults from two cycles (2007-2008, 2009-2010). Those with prediabetes were identified by excluding people with self-reported diabetes and then screening for hemoglobin A1c values between 5.7% and 6.4%. This group was then divided based on self-reported prediabetes. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of prediabetes awareness on the odds of engagement in physical activity, weight management, and the combination of physical activity and weight management, according to the study abstract.
Of the 2,694 adults who met the defined criteria for prediabetes, only 11.8%, or 288, were aware of their status. People who were aware of their condition were about 30% more likely to exercise and get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
They were also about 80% more likely to attempt weight loss and to have shed at least 7% of their body weight in the past year, according to the Reuters article.
The researchers concluded that prediabetes-aware adults have increased odds of engagement in physical activity and weight management, which could result in increased performance in these behaviors and, subsequently, decreased risk of future diabetes.
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