Harvard Women's Health Watch

Could you have prediabetes?

Millions of women have no idea they're at risk for diabetes. Find out if you're one of them, and take action to prevent this disease.

Right now, 79 million Americans—including one out of every two adults over age 65—are at risk for a disease that could steal their sight, damage their nerves, destroy their kidneys, and lead to a heart attack or stroke. What's more, half of those at risk don't know their health is in jeopardy.

Those millions of Americans have prediabetes—a condition in which the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes can go on for years, and can even progress to full-blown diabetes, without causing a single symptom. "It takes generally five to 10 years of having diabetes before the complications appear, and it's the complications that cause symptoms," explains Dr. Alan Malabanan, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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