AMA and CDC Launch Campaign to Let People Know Pre-Diabetes Is Reversible

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Key Takeaways

  • The CDC and AMA have launched a campaign to raise awareness of prediabetes.
  • The campaign urges people to take steps to improve their health if they’re diagnosed.
  • Making lifestyle and dietary changes could lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Two major health organizations in the U.S. have launched a joint campaign to help raise awareness of prediabetes—and the fact that it is reversible.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with the Ad Council to launch the “Do I Have Prediabetes?” campaign and “Change the Outcome” public service announcements to raise awareness about the disease.

The new campaigns show that prediabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes. There are also lifestyle tips at and links to the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program offering additional help.

People who visit can take a one-minute risk assessment to see if they’re at risk for prediabetes. If they receive a high score, they’re encouraged to talk to a healthcare provider about getting tested for prediabetes.

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but they’re not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is serious: It puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It usually goes undetected until someone has their blood sugar levels checked by their doctor. Prediabetes is diagnosed through a simple blood test. This can be given at your doctor’s office and will tell your doctor exactly where your levels are.

“Life sometimes grants us an opportunity to make small changes that can have profound effects on the trajectory of our health and our lives,” Christopher Holliday, PhD, MPH, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC said in a statement. “Diabetes affects every part of the body and can lead to a cascade of negative health outcomes, significantly impacting a person’s quality of life. A prediabetes diagnosis sounds the alarm, letting people know that they need to change course and take the opportunity to prevent this devastating disease before it’s too late.”

It’s “critical” to raise awareness of prediabetes and people’s individual risk for the disease, AMA president Gerald E. Harmon, MD, said in a statement.

“Through our latest campaign, we aim to help more of the millions of Americans living with prediabetes find out whether they have the condition,” he continued. “Anyone who learns through the online test that they may be at risk for prediabetes should consult their physician right away to confirm a prediabetes diagnosis and learn how making lifestyle changes can help them keep type 2 diabetes at bay.”

The campaign will be promoted at local offices, affiliates, and partners of the AMA and CDC to help spread the word in communities.

Treating Prediabetes

“Prediabetes is treatable,” Fredric E. Wondisford, MD, professor and chair of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told Verywell. “Usually, people can do things related to exercise, diet, and weight loss to help their blood sugar go back to normal.”

Kristian Morey, RD, a clinical dietitian with the Nutrition and Diabetes Education program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, told Verywell that it’s crucial for prediabetes patients to talk to their healthcare provider or a dietitian about lifestyle changes or medications that can help manage their blood sugar.

“The three things I recommend most are to stop smoking if you do, don’t drink sugar, and incorporate safe, enjoyable movement into your life for at least 30 minutes every day,” she said.

If you don’t take steps to reverse your prediabetes, “eventually, your pancreas loses its ability to make insulin and you develop diabetes,” Wondisford said. Prediabetes, he added, “is a warning to say that you need to change your habits a little bit.”

What This Means For You

If you’re at high risk of developing prediabetes, knowing your status can go a long way toward keeping you healthy over time. Talk to your doctor about getting tested.

What Experts Think of the Campaign

Rose Lin, MD, an endocrinologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California, told Verywell that it’s crucial for people to know the status of their blood sugar, noting that this campaign can help.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are diagnosed with diabetes when they have very acute symptoms that sometimes land them in urgent care,” she said. “If you can be diagnosed with prediabetes and know that you can reverse it, you can take steps to improve your health.... We really want to catch people at this earlier stage so they can make changes.”

Phallon LoveLady, DNP, a registered nurse at Spectrum Health, agrees.

“Having the awareness that prediabetes is possibly reversal brings hope to those that fall into this category,” she told Verywell. "Many people are unaware they are prediabetic [and] many people do not even know they are headed down the path towards diabetes, nor have the knowledge of what to do as a result.”

If you’re at high risk of developing prediabetes, talk to a healthcare provider about getting tested. And, if you do in fact have prediabetes, try to make changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.

“It’s important and it can make a difference in your long-term health,” Wondisford said.

1 Source
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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes - your chance to prevent type 2 diabetes. Updated June 11, 2020.

By Korin Miller
Korin Miller is a health and lifestyle journalist who has been published in The Washington Post, Prevention, SELF, Women's Health, The Bump, and Yahoo, among other outlets.