For every person diagnosed with diabetes, another goes undiagnosed.

Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes – it is the result of your body’s insulin not working effectively. The majority of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes can manage their condition and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by leading a healthy lifestyle.

The condition is also known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance, Impaired Fasting Glucose or insulin resistance.

Am I at risk of pre-diabetes?

  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Does someone in your family have type 2 diabetes?

You could be at risk of developing
type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes

Risk factors for developing pre-diabetes

  • I have a family history of type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease
  • I lead a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • I have high blood pressure
  • I have high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol and or high total cholesterol
  • I am overweight – risk is further increased for men with a waist circumference of more than 94cm and women with a waist circumference of more than 80cm
  • I have heart disease or have had a heart attack
  • I had diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a big baby (more than 4.5kg)
  • I have polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • I am of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Island, Asian and/or Indian heritage

If you answered yes to one or more of the following then you are at risk of type 2 diabetes and it’s important to talk to your doctor about it at your next visit. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about your risks and what you can do about it please see the pre-diabetes fact sheet.




Generally your doctor will ask you to have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), which is performed at a pathology laboratory and involved a blood sample being taken before and two hours after a glucose drink is consumed.


Approximately 2 million Australians are thought to have pre-diabetes and if left untreated may develop type 2 diabetes in the next 5 to 10 years.

Pre diabetes can affect your heart and blood vessels and ultimately increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.


The steps taken to treat a pre-diabetes condition are the same as the steps taken to prevent it. This is done by making lifestyle changes to include regular physical activity and healthy eating.