The charity Diabetes UK has warned that seven million people in the UK have pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Regulation - IGR), which can make them 15 times more likely to develop diabetes than the rest of the population.
The total number of people with diabetes in the UK currently stands at 2.6 million.
Pre-diabetes doesn't appear out of the blue. Diabetes UK explain that:
Many people with prediabetes are overweight or obese at diagnosis and 90 per cent will either have a family history of prediabetes or have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
(Seven million in UK have 'prediabetes' )
Other risk factors for pre-diabetes include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome or previous gestational diabetes in women
- Severe mental health problems
The good news is that, unlike diabetes, prediabetes can be reversed. Making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle can prevent you from ever developing diabetes - even if you are in a high-risk group. This includes:
- Taking regular exercise
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet and being cautious about your sugar intake
And don't think you're safe if you're not in the UK - America has an even higher percentage of pre-diabetics, according to Diabetes UK:
In the US prediabetes affects more than 56 million people, around 18 per cent of the population compared to around 15 per cent in the UK.
The charity are calling on the government to screen people for signs of pre-diabetes, and are asking health professionals to clearly communicate the risks to patients.