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Having Prediabetes May Not Kick-Start Prevention Efforts

Most people still didn't lose weight or exercise, study finds

TUESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Knowing you're on the cusp of developing diabetes apparently isn't enough to make most people take steps to prevent it.

New research, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that only about half of those with prediabetes said they had tried to drop pounds or boost their exercise level in the preceding year.

An estimated one-third of U.S. residents 20 years and older are prediabetic, experts say, but more than 92 percent are not aware of it.

The study involved a survey of 1,402 people with prediabetes who were interviewed and given glucose tests. Of that group, just 7 percent said that they had been diagnosed with prediabetes and only 48 percent of them had been tested for diabetes or high blood sugar in the preceding three years.

Overall, the researchers said, people with prediabetes are generally older, more likely to be men and often have such heart disease risk factors as higher weight, waist size, systolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels. No ethnicity or race is more likely to have the condition, however, they said.

"Reversing the growing diabetes problem will require multiple levels of interventions, including promotion of healthy lifestyles and increased availability of evidence-based community prevention programs for people at high risk," the researchers wrote. "More efficient identification and awareness of prediabetes is a key first step to implementing these changes."

The researchers include representatives from Emory University, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more on prediabetes.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Elsevier Health Sciences, news release, March 2, 2010

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