- Oct 25, 2017
(CNN)Nearly a quarter of young adults and a fifth of adolescents in the United States have prediabetes, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Prediabetes -- a condition wherein blood sugar levels are elevated, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes -- was estimated at 18% among adolescents ages 12 to 18, and 24% among young adults ages 19 to 34.
Experts say these numbers have risen over the past decade, putting young people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other conditions down the line.
Analyzing nearly 5,800 individuals included in a national health survey from 2005 to 2016, the study authors found that "the prevalence of prediabetes in male individuals was almost twice that in female individuals" -- 22.5% vs. 13.4% in adolescents and 29.1% vs. 18.8% in young adults.
Prediabetes was also more common among young people with obesity, which is also closely linked to Type 2 diabetes in adults. More than a quarter of obese adolescents and more than a third of obese young adults were found to have prediabetes -- versus less than 17% of individuals with normal weight in both age groups.
Overall numbers are even higher for adults. Roughly a third of adults -- or 84 million Americans -- have prediabetes, according to the CDC. Nine in 10 don't know they have it.