Study finds that one-third of English adults have prediabetes
Rates of prediabetes have risen sharply in England, and without intervention, the nation may experience a steep increase in diabetes in the coming years, according to University of Florida researchers working with the University of Leicester.
The study, co-authored by Professor Richard Baker, M.D. (pictured), a professor of quality in healthcare from our Department of Health Sciences, found that prediabetes rates among English adults rose from about 12 percent in 2003 to 35 percent in 2011.
Prediabetes is defined as having blood glucose concentrations higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. People with prediabetes have a greater risk than people with normal blood glucose levels of vascular problems, kidney disease, and nerve and retinal damage. Each year, between 5 and 10 percent of people with prediabetes will develop diabetes.
The study was published in BMJ Open and found that England’s prediabetes rates are similar to those in the United States, where 36 percent of adults are estimated to have the condition, but England’s rates climbed more steeply than the United States’ over a similar time period. While the exact cause for the rapid rise is unknown, it may be linked to increases in obesity in England in the late 1990s. Metabolic changes associated with weight gain may take several years to develop.