Only one in eight people with pre-diabetes are aware that they have the condition, says a new research. They are less likely to make lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of diabetes.
Researchers at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center focused on hemoglobin A1c test - a common diabetes test to measure the average blood sugar level.
A1c levels between 5.7 and 6.4 are considered elevated, though not yet diabetic.
The study found that 2,694 adults who had elevated blood sugar levels fell just short of diabetes. Only 288 of those people were aware that they had pre-diabetes.
People who were aware of their condition were 30 percent more likely to be physically active and 80 percent were more likely to focus on weight loss.
According to the World Health Organization, about one in nine adults are diabetic and the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
"People with pre-diabetes who lose a modest amount of weight and increase their physical activity are less likely to develop diabetes. Our study importantly shows that individuals with pre-diabetes who were aware of this diagnosis were more likely to engage in some of these effective and recommended healthy lifestyle changes," said, lead study author Dr. Anjali Gopalan, a researcher at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
The researchers emphasized that it is important that doctors tell their patients with pre-diabetes what that means and encourage them to change their lifestyle habits to avoid developing type 2 diabetes.