| (Philadelphia, PA) — Fifty-four million Americans
— that’s one in six of us — have pre-diabetes and
most don’t even realize it. Mark Schutta, MD,
medical director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center,
is urging at-risk patients to be proactive and ask your doctor to
give you a simple blood test for pre-diabetes — to arm yourself
with information before the damage is done. It means you have blood
glucose levels that are higher than normal and you could one day reach
a high enough level that you would be diagnosed with having diabetes.
is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond
properly to insulin and must be managed on a daily basis once diagnosed.
If not, it can lead to several health complications including death.
November is designated annually as American Diabetes Month.
“If you have pre-diabetes, there’s a 75% probability
that you will develop diabetes within 30 years,” comments
Schutta. “Our country is in the middle of a type 2 diabetes
epidemic. Right now, if you’re born in the U.S., your risk
of developing diabetes is one in three.”
Schutta says the reason for the high numbers is that diabetes is
a “silent killer” and in the early stages of the disease,
patients often have no symptoms. Schutta urges anyone at risk for
diabetes to be screened. He adds, “If you knew you had pre-diabetes,
you could still prevent getting diabetes through changes in diet
and exercise. There are many health benefits to knowing you have
pre-diabetes and ‘heading it off.’ If you wait until
you have diabetes, the vascular damage to your body may already
You should be screened for pre-diabetes if:
- You have a known family history of diabetes.
- You are African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American
or Pacific Islander.
- While pregnant, you developed gestational diabetes.
- You delivered a baby who weighed more than nine pounds.
- You have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, are overweight.
Schutta explains there are two kinds of blood tests you can request,
“The first is a fasting plasma glucose test, in which your
glucose levels measured when you have not been eating. The other
is an oral glucose tolerance test which introduces glucose into
your system, challenging your beta cells to make insulin by testing
your body’s acute insulin response to glucose.”
Schutta says the numbers are clear. If your blood glucose level,
two hours after receiving oral glucose, is over 200 milligrams per
deciliter, you are considered to be diabetic. Anything between 141-199
is considered to be pre-diabetic. Again, Schutta stresses that if
you have pre-diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re
going to develop diabetes - if you take the proper steps now to
avoid getting the fifth deadliest disease in America.
PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in
1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of
Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt
of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News &
World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical
schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the
School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education
and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and
leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three
hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care
honors [Hospital of theUniversity of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania
Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical
Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network;
two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.