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Need to know: Are you at risk for diabetes or prediabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 out of 11 people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 1 out of 3 people have prediabetes. And of the adults living with diabetes, nearly 1 in 4 didn’t even know they had the condition.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of feet or legs. Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes. However, if not caught early or controlled, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.

The good news is Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in people with prediabetes through effective lifestyle programs. “With modest lifestyle changes – including healthy eating and increased physical activity – men and women can decrease the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes,” said Ascension Medical Group Via Christi endocrinologist, Dr. Ali Jamalallail.

Here are some risk factors for diabetes:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a parent or sibling who has Type 2 diabetes
  • Lack of physical activity (fewer than three times per week)
  • Some ethnic groups are at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes

Here’s how to test your risk:
The CDC’s Prediabetes Screening Test is a short, seven-question quiz that allows individuals to see if they might be at risk for prediabetes. To get an official diagnosis as to whether one may have prediabetes or diabetes, individuals should see their healthcare provider. Ascension sites across the United States are participating in the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, which seeks to empower individuals in the community to understand the risks of and be screened for prediabetes and diabetes.

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