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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major federally funded study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that people can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week and healthier eating.

When To Be Tested For Diabetes
Anyone aged 45 years or older should consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight. If you are younger than 45, but are overweight and have one or more additional risk factors (see below), you should consider testing.

The Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Here are some of the risk factors that could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes:

> Being overweight or obese

> A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes

> African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage

> Prior history of gestational diabetes or birth of at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds

> High blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher

> Abnormal cholesterol with HDL ("good") cholesterol is 35 or lower, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher

> Physical inactivity—exercising fewer than three times a week

Body Weight Can Affect Likelihood of Diabetes Development
Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly, and can also cause high blood pressure. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major federally funded study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that moderate diet and exercise of about 30 minutes or more, 5 or more days per week, or of 150 or more minutes per week, resulting in a 5% to 7% weight loss can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.

What is Pre-diabetes?
People with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range have "pre-diabetes." Doctors sometimes call this condition impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), depending on the test used to diagnose it. Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes usually have no symptoms. You may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything.

If you have pre-diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that most people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they lose weight through modest changes in diet and physical activity. People with pre-diabetes also have a higher risk of heart disease.

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