Dr. Ronald T. Ackermann, associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist who was the study leader, says the A1c blood test, routinely administered to diabetic patients for many years, can also pinpoint pre-diabetes.
Fasting tests, used to screen for pre-diabetes, are often difficult to administer primarily because they usually require two visits to the physician's office and because patients often forget to arrive with an empty stomach.
The A1c test can avoid both of these problems because it can be performed on a single visit, even if a person has eaten. It is estimated that of the some 60 million U.S. adults with pre-diabetes currently only 7 percent have been tested and are aware of their status, Ackermann says.
"If you are pre-diabetic, losing as little as 10 to 15 pounds through diet and exercise can cut in half your chances of getting diabetes, greatly improving your health and lowering your need for health care," Ackermann says.