Nearly two million American youths have pre diabetes, the CDC and NIH report.
In prediabetes, the body doesn’t handle blood sugar as well as it should, but not as poorly as in diabetes.
Pre diabetes is often a step on the path to type 2 diabetes. It also raises the risk of heart disease.
But, prediabetes may not be a one-way ticket to those problems. There could still be time to turn things around. But it takes sustained effort, and the clock is running.
Children aren’t the only ones with prediabetes. Many adults have it too.
About 41 million Americans have prediabetes, nearly 21 million have diabetes, and many don’t know they have those problems, the CDC reported in October.
National Numbers
The new figures are based on a national survey of 471 boys and 444 girls aged 12-19 years.
The kids represented their peers nationwide. About 16% were overweight, based on their body mass index (BMI).
The kids took a blood sugar test after fasting for at least eight hours. The test checked for impaired fasting glucose – problems handling blood sugar after fasting.
7% of all participants had impaired fasting glucose. That translates to about 2 million adolescents nationwide, the researchers write.
Impaired fasting glucose was more common among boys than girls. It was seen in one in 10 boys and one out of 25 girls.
Being overweight, especially around the waist, raised the odds. Impaired fasting glucose was seen in one in 16 overweight adolescents and one in four with large waists.
Mexican-American adolescents were more likely than whites or blacks to have impaired fasting glucose (13% of Mexican-Americans, 7% of whites, and 4% of blacks).

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