Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Prediabetes Can Shorten a Person's Life

The CDC estimates that 88 million adult Americans have prediabetes. And most persons with prediabetes are not aware that they have the condition. The CDC’s diabetes prevention program trial that took place between 1996 and 2001 showed that lifestyle intervention could reduce the risk of progression from prediabetes to diabetes by 58% compared to people with prediabetes who were receiving usual care. And a recent study suggests that prediabetes can shorten a person’s life.

The investigators studied 2844 subjects to determine how the “years of potential life lost,” or YPLL, for persons with prediabetes compared with the YPLL of persons with diabetes and the YPLL of persons with normoglycemia. The subjects were male and female with an average age of 52. From 1976 to 1982 the participants were given oral glucose tolerance tests. Also, anthropometric measurements were made during the study period.

The researchers concluded “that adjusted life expectancy of middle-aged individuals with prediabetes” was two years shorter than the life expectancy of individuals with normoglycemia, and the expectancy of individuals with diabetes was eight years shorter than individuals with normoglycemia.  The researchers went on to say that “YPLL was greater in women, younger individuals (less than 16 year) and in those with moderate overweight.” The researchers indicated that both the intrinsic risk associated with prediabetes and the risk of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes could be factors impacting lifespan.

The study confirms the importance of addressing prediabetes, especially in middle-aged adults. Healthcare providers should endeavor to work with at-risk prediabetes patients. They should work with the patients, if appropriate, to get them into a diabetes prevention program. These programs can delay or prevent diabetes which could increase the lifespan of a person with prediabetes. Delaying or preventing diabetes can not only increase a person’s lifespan. It could also lower the person’s healthcare costs.


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