Are You at Risk for Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is defined by your blood glucose (sugar) just like diabetes. Here is a table that shows you normal values, prediabetes values and diabetes values for the blood glucose.

Type of Test Normal Prediabetes Diabetes
Fasting blood glucose
  • Less than 100 mg/dl
  • 5.6 mmol/L
  • 100-125 mg/dl
  • 5.6-6.9 mmol/L
  • 126 mg/dl or greater
  • 7 mmol/L
Blood glucose two hours after eating 75 grams of glucose
  • Less than 140 mg/dl
  • 7.8 mmol/L
  • 140-199 mg/dl
  • 7.8-11.1 mmol/L
200 mg/dl or greater

These tests are usually performed by your doctor who suspects that you have prediabetes or diabetes. There are a number of clues that should cause you to go to see your doctor to be tested. You can take your own “risk quiz”. The quiz brings out the most important signs and symptoms that point to prediabetes. It was developed by Dr. Richelle Koopman at the University of Missouri. Each factor is given a numerical score and the scores are added up.

Here are the factors and their scores:

Age:

  • 20-27=1
  • 28-35=2
  • 36-44=3
  • 45-64=4

Sex:

  • Male=3
  • Female=0

Body mass index:

  • Less than 25=0
  • 25.1-29.9=2
  • 30 or more=3

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has a handy Body Mass Index calculator you can use to calculate your BMI.

Family history of prediabetes:

  • No=0
  • Yes=1

Heart rate:

  • Less than 70=0
  • 70-79=1
  • 80-89=2
  • 90-99=3
  • 100+=4

Blood pressure greater than 140/90:

  • No=0
  • Yes=1

Add up your points. Let’s say you are a 29 (2 points) year old male (3 points) with a body mass index of 26 (2 points). There is no family history of diabetes (0 points). Your resting heart rate is 74 (1 point) and your blood pressure is 128/80 (0 points). Your total is 8.

The interpretation is as follows:

  • 5 points means you are 1.53 times as likely to have prediabetes as not
  • 6 means the likelihood is 1.80
  • 7 means the likelihood is 2.16
  • 8 means the likelihood is 2.54
  • 9 means the likelihood is 3.26

As you can see by the number of points that are given to each risk factor, advanced age, male sex, elevated body mass index, positive family history, elevated resting pulse and high blood pressure are all risk factors for prediabetes. Some of them, like age, sex and family history, you can’t control. The others will respond to lifestyle modification.

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