The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) joined together to raise prediabetes awareness in the country. Approximately one in three Americans is affected by diabetes.

ADA said that while many people are quite aware of type 2 diabetes, many people remain in the dark about prediabetes, a severe illness affecting about 86 million people in the United States. If left unattended, the condition becomes a precursor of type 2 diabetes.

The Ad Council launched an awareness campaign that helps people calculate their risk in just 60 seconds. The website DoIHavePrediabetes.org contains an online test where people can calculate the risk in under a minute.

The test involves seven questions about one's age, height, weight, race, level physical fitness activity, family's health history and other factors that affect the rate of prediabetes risk. The site also has lifestyle types and several links to CDC-approved diabetes programs across the United States and its own National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Prediabetes is often asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) but people who have it often have above normal blood sugar levels. About 90 percent of people who have prediabetes are not aware of their condition and the resulting diseases that follow it such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and even dementia.

Prediabetes is also associated with higher chances of developing specific cancers. Left undiagnosed and untreated, about 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will have type 2 diabetes within five years.

Today, doctors said people could soon calculate their risk of borderline prediabetes using a simple method.

Prediabetes can be prevented through increased physical activity and a shift towards a healthier lifestyle that includes a change of diet, weight loss and weight management. But first, early diagnosis is the key.

Based on past research, when people find out that they have prediabetes or close to it, there is a higher probability that they will make lifestyle changes to prevent the development of more serious health conditions associated with prediabetes.

Be proactive and take the test - it only takes a minute. You can also check the campaign's YouTube channel "Do I Have Prediabetes" for informative videos.

Photo: Emilio Labrador | Flickr

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