Prediabetes

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.);
  • Heredity;
  • Ethnicity: Aboriginals, Africans, Asians, Latin-Americans, Arab, etc.
  • Education.

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:

 PrediabetesType 2 diabetes
Fasting blood glucose levelBetween 6.1and 6.9 mmol/L (impaired fasting blood glucose)7.0 mmol/L or higher
A1CBetween 6.0% and 6.4%A1C: 6.5% or higher
Blood glucose level, 2 hours after drinking a liquid containing 75 g of glucoseBetween 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/L (impaired glucose tolerance)11.1 mmol/L or higher
Blood glucose level, at any time of day11.1 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 Team of Health Care Professionals.

May 2014 (updated on July 2018)

©All rights reserved Diabetes Quebec 

References:

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.