It is estimated that 1 in every 5 Quebecers is prediabetic and many of them don’t even know it!
Prediabetes is a condition characterized by blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes is an alarm bell.
Prediabetic individuals are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the short term, especially if they have other risk factors, such as:
- Gender: men are more vulnerable than women;
- Age: the risk increases with age;
- Being overweight;
- A large waist circumference, indicating fat around the abdominal area;
- Amount of physical activity;
- Dietary habits;
- High blood pressure;
- Abnormally high blood sugar levels in the past;
- For women, having given birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg (9 lbs.);
- Ethnicity: Aboriginals, Africans, Asians, Latin-Americans, Arab, etc.
Prediabetes is sometimes characterized by the time of day when blood glucose values are abnormal:
- Impaired fasting glucose: blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal after eating nothing caloric for at least 8 hours.
- Impaired glucose tolerance: blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal 2 hours after drinking a sweet liquid equivalent to a meal high in carbohydrates (sugars).
Diagnosis of Prediabetes
Only a laboratory blood test can determine the state of your health with certainty. The test measures the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood and/or the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) in the blood.
The reference values suggested by Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes in Canada are:
|Prediabetes||Type 2 diabetes|
|Fasting blood glucose level||Between 6.1and 6.9 mmol/L (impaired fasting blood glucose)||7.0 mmol/L or higher|
|A1C||Between 6.0% and 6.4%||A1C: 6.5% or higher|
|Blood glucose level, 2 hours after drinking a liquid containing 75 g of glucose||Between 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/L (impaired glucose tolerance)||11.1 mmol/L or higher|
|Blood glucose level, at any time of day||—||11.1 mmol/L or higher, with classic symptoms|
It is recommended to have a test (fasting blood glucose or A1C) every 3 years if you are 40 or older, or even more often if you present risk factors .
Good news. By changing your lifestyle habits, you can prevent diabetes!
Take the test to learn your risk of developing diabetes.
Research and writing: Diabetes Québec’s team of health professionals
© Diabetes Québec – September 2020
Punthakee Z, Goldenberg R and Katz P. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Definition, Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes, Prediabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Can J Diabetes 2018; 42 (Suppl 1): S10-S15.
Ekoe J, Goldenberg R and Katz P. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Screening for Diabetes in Adults. Can J Diabetes 2018; 42 (Suppl 1): S16-S19.