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Rates of pre-diabetes have tripled over past decade in England

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There has been a marked increase in the proportion of adults in England with pre-diabetes over the past ten years, shows a UK study.

The study used data collected by the Health Survey for England (HSE) in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Participants in the study were aged 16 and older and provided a blood sample. Individuals were classes as having pre-diabetes if their glycated haemoglobin was between 5.7% (39 mmol/mol) and 6.4% (46 mmol/mol) and were not previously diagnosed with diabetes.

The prevalence rate of pre-diabetes increased from 11.6% in 2003 to 35.3% in 2011. By 2011, 50.6% of the population who were overweight (BMI greater than 25) and over the age of 40 years had pre-diabetes, with those over 40 four times more likely to have pre-diabetes than those aged 16-39.

The researchers warn that ‘if there is no coordinated response to the rise in pre-diabetes, an increase in numbers of people with diabetes will ensue, with consequent increase in health expenditure, morbidity and cardiovascular mortality’.

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