About 16 Million American Have ‘Pre-Diabetes’
About 16 million Americans have "pre-diabetes," a condition in which blood sugar levels have risen higher than normal but have not reached a diabetic level, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The condition could lead to Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 95% of diabetes cases in the United States. Frank Vinicor, diabetes program director for the CDC, said, "If we don't identify pre-diabetes and stop the development of Type 2 diabetes, the health care system is going to be completely overwhelmed" (Uhlman, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/12). In March, HHS issued new guidelines as part of a campaign to promote awareness of pre-diabetes. The guidelines recommend that overweight individuals older than age 44 should undergo a test for pre-diabetes. In addition, individuals younger than age 45 who have one or more additional risk factors for diabetes should undergo a test for pre-diabetes (California Healthline, 3/28). The federal government also plans to launch a "media blitz" this fall to address the issue, the Inquirer reports. Vinicor said, "We are now in the process of changing the public health message to say to doctors they not only need to do a better job caring for diabetes, but they have to find people at risk and ... do something about the onset of diabetes." The CDC hopes that the campaign will result in the "leveling off" of new diabetes cases in the United States by 2008 and a decrease by 2010 (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.