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The Label “Prediabetes” Could Create Unnecessary Problems

Some speculate that people being labeled as prediabetic could end up harming them more than helping them. There has been research that shows those who coined the term “prediabetes” are now rejecting it.

The group that is known to have coined “prediabetes” is the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Prediabetes is used to describe people who have a high risk of developing diabetes, but do not experience the symptoms commonly associated with the disease.

Pros

The following are some of the pros of a prediabetic diagnosis according to a study by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

  • A1c can catch chronic hyperglycemia better than fasting and the 2-h oral glucose tolerance test
  • A1c has a greater pre-analytical stability than plasma glucose
  • Using the same biomarker for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes might be an advantage
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Cons

The following are some of the cons of a prediabetic diagnosis according to a study by ADA.

  • Diabetes is not clinically defined by glycation of proteins
  • 2-h glucose level and IGT are stronger predictors than A1C
  • Susceptibility to glycation of hemoglobin is not relevant to diabetes diagnosis

Speculation

Those who question the validity of diagnosing people with prediabetes say that the ADA is “making patients out of healthy people.”

One of the biggest concerns is that diagnosing people as prediabetic is fueled by making money for the pharmaceutical industry. To further the doubt, there is only a small portion of people diagnosed as prediabetic that go on to develop diabetes.

While the World Health Organization rejects prediabetes as a diagnosis, the ADA and CDC insist that prediabetes is an important health issue.

The idea of identifying people who are close to developing diabetes is not a bad one, but the scientific evidence for what the ADA is pushing is not strong.