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People with Prediabetes Think They are Healthy

Update Date: Jan 25, 2014 10:46 PM EST
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Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but still below the limit to be considered type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are often considered high risk for developing the chronic illness, which is why it is essential that people maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. In a new study, researchers found that almost 80 percent of the people they interviewed who had prediabetes believed that they were healthy.

This study conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) surveyed 1,426 adults and 601 physicians and other medical professionals. The adults were all aged 40 or older and they were made up of 50 percent males and 50 percent females. The consumer surveys were conducted in April 2013 and the health care professional surveys were done in June 2013. The Association's CheckUp America initiative helped carry out the telephone surveys.

The researchers discovered that less than 50 percent of the patients who were considered to be at risk for diabetes had talked about blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol with their doctors. A little over 50 percent of the patients stated that they talk about weight and exercise with their physicians. Physicians reported that they did discuss ways to prevent diabetes and heart disease with their at risk patients. The researchers also found that nearly 80 percent of the people with prediabetes thought that they were in great or very good health.

The researchers believe that the study's findings suggest that physicians might not be effectively educating their patients about the risks involved with developing type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Even though physicians might talk about weight and exercise with their patients, their patients might not be understanding the importance of these two factors in relation to general overall health.

"These findings suggest it is critical for providers to connect the dots with patients between risk factors and disease development," Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, R.N., C.D.E., incoming chair of the ADA's Prevention Committee, said reported by Medical Xpress. "Providers think their at-risk patients are making the link between risk factors and heart attack, diabetes, and death, but a quarter of these patients report they don't even have any health problems. We have to close the gap if we want to prevent future development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease."

The ADA's news release can be found here.

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