WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A new test can help people learn if they are at risk for diabetes, a U.S. non-profit group representing clinical laboratories said.
This test does not require fasting and is not affected by recent dietary changes, said Alan Mertz, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association in Washington.
"Ask your doctor about a quick and easy lab test called hemoglobin A1C," Mertz said in a statement.
"The test can tell you if you actually have diabetes or are close to developing it -- a silent and serious condition called pre-diabetes."
Mertz said not only will 40 percent of those with pre-diabetes who take no action become fully diabetic in three to eight years, but people with pre-diabetes have a 50 percent greater chance of heart disease, stroke or kidney disease.
However, being "pre-warned is pre-armed." Mertz says a clinical trial, called the Diabetes Protection Project, found making improvements in diet and exercise reduced a pre-diabetic's risk of getting diabetes by 58 percent.