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Approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don't know they have it, according to a CDC report.

According to the International Diabetic Foundation, as of 2021, diabetes affects 537 million people or 10% of the world's population. The IDF Atlas estimates another 374 million people worldwide to have a pre-stage of diabetes, called Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), a figure which is anticipated to rise to 548.4 million in 2045.[ii]

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 What causes pre-diabetic:


If you have prediabetes, the cells in your body don't normally respond to insulin. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually, your pancreas can't keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes—and type 2 diabetes down the road.


How do you become pre-diabetic:

  • Weight. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for prediabetes. The more fatty tissue you have — especially inside and between the muscle and skin around your abdomen — the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

  • Waist size. Large waist size can indicate insulin resistance. The risk of insulin resistance increases for men with waists larger than 40 inches and women with waists larger than 35 inches.

  • Diet. Eating red meat, processed meat, and drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of prediabetes.

  • Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk of prediabetes.

  • Age. Although diabetes can develop at any age, the risk of prediabetes increases after age 35.

  • Family history. Your risk of prediabetes increases if you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.

  • Race or ethnicity. Although it's unclear why, certain people — including Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American — are more likely to develop prediabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes. If you had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), you and your child are at higher risk of developing prediabetes.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with this common condition — characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity — have a higher risk of prediabetes.

  • Sleep. People with obstructive sleep apnea — a condition that disrupts sleep repeatedly — have an increased risk of insulin resistance. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Tobacco smoke. Smoking may increase insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes. Smoking also increases your risk of complications from diabetes.

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