The danger of prediabetes is that it can progress to full-blown diabetes, with all the complications that condition entails, including heart, kidney, circulation and vision problems.
Albright noted that 30 percent or more of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes over the course of a decade.
The number of Americans with diabetes is already staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States -- 8.3 percent of the population -- have diabetes.
"The good news is we know there are things you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes," Albright said. "You can prevent or delay diabetes if you lose 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight and get 150 minutes of physical activity a week."
Another expert said it starts with what you eat.
Eating a healthy diet that limits sugars and carbohydrates is important, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Exercise and diet can reduce the risk of diabetes by about 58 percent, he said, and "giving the drug metformin can reduce the risk by 31 percent. Lifestyle changes, together with metformin, which the American Diabetes Association recommends for prediabetes, will be very effective."
For more on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
SOURCES: Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director, Division of Diabetes Translation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Spyros Mezitis, M.D., endocrinologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; March 22, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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