Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Update cookies preferences
August 5, 2022

Prediabetes Risk Factors

Prediabetes is when you have a higher than normal blood sugar, but it is not high enough to be classed as having type 2 diabetes yet.

Factors that increase the likelihood of prediabetes are the same as those increasing the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you have any symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination or blurry vision, see your doctor. You should also request a blood screening from your doctor if you have any prediabetes risk factors.

Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight - the more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin
  • A large waist - a large waist can signify insulin resistance. The risk of insulin resistance increases for men with a waist over 40 inches, and for women with a waist over 35 inches
  • An unhealthy diet - consuming lots of red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages increases risk. Try eating more fibre (fruit, vegetables and whole grains)
  • Not being very active - activity helps manage weight, uses up sugar, and makes the body use insulin more effectively
  • Being aged over 45
  • Having a family member with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Race and ethnicity - Some people (including Black, Hispanic and Asian people) are more at risk of developing diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes - if you have had diabetes while pregnant, you and your child both have an increased risk. Your doctor should check your blood glucose levels at least once every three years
  • Having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) - This condition includes irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity.
  • Having obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Smoking

High blood pressure, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – known as the ‘good cholesterol’ – and high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) are also associated with prediabetes. 

When these conditions occur alongside obesity, it can indicate insulin resistance. The combination of three or more of the seconditions is frequently called metabolic syndrome. 

The more serious outcome of prediabetes is the development of type 2 diabetes which can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Blurry or loss of vision
  • Amputation
  • Stroke

Prediabetes has also been associated with unrecognised (silent) heart attacks and causing kidney damage.

You can prevent and halt progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Being active - at least 150 minutes of exercise a week
  • Losing excess weight
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Not smoking
Join 470,000 people using the Low Carb Program
Members with prediabetes achieve weight loss, improved HbA1c, reduced medications and prediabetes remission.

Find support from people with prediabetes

Join the free community and speak to other people who manage and may have reversed prediabetes.