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.