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Pre-Diabetes Fact Sheet

  • New Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Pre-Diabetes November 2003

By lowering the diagnostic criteria for Pre-diabetes, more people at risk for developing diabetes will be made aware of their risk. Studies such as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) have shown that we can prevent or delay the development of diabetes by as much as 58%. If more people learn they are at risk for the disease, they will be able to make healthier diet and exercise choices. In addition, people with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to people with blood glucose levels in the normal range.

Fasting Test New Old
Normal Blood Glucose 70-99 mg/dL 70-109 mg/dL
Pre-Diabetes 100-125 mg/dL 110-125 mg/dL
Diabetes 126 mg/dL or higher 126 mg/dL or higher

  • What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is the state in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, and studies show that most people with this condition will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

  • Is this a new condition?

No. Elevated blood glucose levels have been referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG). A new name has been given to the condition because more is known about it. Pre-diabetes means that a person is likely to develop type 2 diabetes and may already be experiencing the related complications, such as cardiovascular disease.

  • Who should be tested for pre-diabetes?

Testing is recommended:

  • If you are overweight and older than age 45
  • If you are overweight, under the age of 45 but have a family history of diabetes, or high blood pressure, or high blood lipids (fats), or are African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, or Asian, or have a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.

  • What blood glucose level indicates pre-diabetes?

In pre-diabetes, the fasting blood glucose level is between 100 and 125 mg/dl. A fasting blood glucose level greater than 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes.

  • Will my insurance cover testing for pre-diabetes?

Some insurances have this benefit. It is best to consult with your health insurance about specific coverage for glucose testing.

  • How is pre-diabetes treated?

The first step is to lose a modest amount of weight such as 510 percent of total body weight or at least 10 lbs. Weight loss is recommended through diet and moderate exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Consult with your physician about a referral to a Registered Dietitian for appropriate advice.

  • Can I have pre-diabetes and not know it?

Yes. Often, people with pre-diabetes and diabetes do not have symptoms. Usually the symptoms develop gradually so they may not be recognized. The symptoms include: unusual thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision or a feeling of tiredness for no apparent reason.

  • How can the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland help?

DAGC health educators are available to answer any questions you may have about pre-diabetes. Free diabetes risk assessment testing is available every Tuesday at the DAGC offices by appointment.

Free diabetes Risk Assessments are offered at the DAGC offices every Tuesday morning from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. A parent or legal guardian must accompany minor children (under the age of 18) to sign a consent form before a risk assessment can be performed.

Are You at Risk?

This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician and/ or other health care providers relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition. In no event will the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided within this website.

Contact the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland at:

Phone: Fax: E-Mail:

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Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland