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Postgrad Med. 2010 Jul;122(4):129-43. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2010.07.2180.

Prediabetes: the importance of early identification and intervention.

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  • 1Diabetes Research Center, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Prediabetes is a state of abnormal glucose homeostasis characterized by the presence of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or both. Individuals with prediabetes are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, compared with individuals with normal glucose values (normal fasting plasma glucose, < 100 mg/dL [5.6 mmol/L]). The increased risk for cardiovascular disease in prediabetes is multifactorial, with etiologies including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress. The preferred treatment is intensive lifestyle management and aggressive pharmacologic therapies directed toward individual coronary heart disease risk factors. The use of antihyperglycemic agents in this setting is a topic of intense debate. This review discusses the pathophysiology of prediabetes and its clinical implications, highlighting the importance of early identification and intervention.

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