Few people are aware of having pre-diabetes condition – US study

You might have diabetes but completely unaware of it; a study in the United States has warned.

According to a study by the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, only one in eight people with an initial “pre-diabetes” know they have the condition, Lisa Rapaport of Reuters have reported.

Awareness of having this precursor condition is important for people to prevent it from becoming a full-blown diabetes through several lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and avoiding sugary food.

Photo Credit: Reuters
Photo Credit: Reuters

Study’s lead author Dr. Anjali Gopalan told Reuters in an email, “People with pre-diabetes who lose a modest amount of weight and increase their physical activity are less likely to develop diabetes.”

“Our study importantly shows that individuals with pre-diabetes who were aware of this diagnosis were more likely to engage in some of these effective and recommended healthy lifestyle changes.”

To check awareness, respondents underwent an A1c test which measures the percentage of hemoglobin that is coated with sugar. Then researchers asked if they have diabetes or not. Those who said they do not have diabetes were separated from the rest.

Upon reviewing the results of the test, researchers found that only 288 of the 2694 people tested knew of their status.

People who knew about their status were 30 percent likelier to exercise and get at least 150 minutes of activity each week.

They were also 80 percent more likely to lose weight and shed at least seven percent of their weight.

Diabetes prevention is a crucial matter as the World Health Organization has declared the disease will be the seventh leading cause of d***h by 2030.

One in nine adults worldwide have diabetes; most of them have Type 2 diabetes or those inflicted with the condition in their adulthood. This type of diabetes happens when the body does not have enough insulin to convert blood sugar into energy.

The researchers noted in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that over a third of US adults have elevated blood sugar levels annually and about 11 percent of these conditions proceed to full-blown diabetes.

A government-backed independent panel reviewing medical evidence said in 2014 that checking for risks of diabetes really help identify people who are close to getting the full-blown disease and could help some of them prevent it as early as possible.