The CDC estimates that one out of every three adults in the U.S. (86 million people) have what is called prediabetes. And of this number, nine out of 10 people do not know they have it.
So there’s a good chance that you, or someone you know, has prediabetes.
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Without lifestyle changes, 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes within five years.
The good news for persons with prediabetes is that if you make some lifestyle changes, you can cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in half. This includes a 5-7 percent weight loss if needed, healthy eating, and being more active.
Last year about 28-33 percent of the adults tested at the Bridger Valley and Evanston Health Fair Blood Draws had higher than normal fasting blood sugar results, which means that most likely, one in three adults in Uinta County has prediabetes, right in keeping with the national numbers.
Uinta County Public Health is promoting prediabetes awareness and suggesting that at-risk adults get a Hemoglobin A1C blood test done with their next routine lab tests (there will be a lower-cost blood draw opportunity again this fall) to see if they fall in the prediabetes stage. This test indicates the average level of blood sugar over the past two to three months. A normal range for hemoglobin A1C is 4.8-5.6 percent and the prediabetes range is 5.7-6.4 percent. Type 2 diabetes is indicated when the A1C is 6.5 percent or higher.
Persons at higher risk for prediabetes include the following:
age 45 and over
family history of diabetes (parent or sibling)
high blood pressure and/or abnormal cholesterol levels
history of elevated fasting blood sugar levels previously
women who delivered a baby weighing 9 lbs or more or who had diabetes while pregnant (gestational)
certain race and ethnicity groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.)
If you fall into any one of these risk groups, it is recommended you have your Hemoglobin A1C checked.
Uinta County Public Health is also offering support and education for persons with prediabetes to help them make some lifestyle changes. Please contact our office in Lyman at (307) 787-3800 or Evanston at (307) 789-9203 and ask about setting up an appointment to see one of our registered nurses.