Study leader Linda Geiss of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said survey data indicates almost 30 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and older had pre-diabetes, a metabolic syndrome -- but only 7.3 percent were aware of their pre-diabetes status.
"Reversing the growing diabetes problem will require multiple levels of interventions, including promotion of healthy lifestyles and increased availability of evidence-based community prevention programs for people at high risk," Geiss says in a statement. "More efficient identification and awareness of pre-diabetes is a key first step to implementing these changes."
Geiss and colleagues analyzed survey data from 1,402 adults with pre-diabetes who participated in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were interviewed and given a fasting plasma glucose test and an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.
Although diabetes can be prevented or delayed among adults at high risk via proper nutrition, modest weight loss and increased physical activity, only about half of U.S. adults with pre-diabetes reported they tried to lose weight or exercise more in the past year, the study said.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also said adults with pre-diabetes were also more likely to have higher levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors such as higher mean weight, waist circumference and higher blood pressure.