Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when the blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Like type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes is a result of the body’s insulin not working effectively. This is known as insulin resistance. Pre-diabetes is also known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) and Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)

Why is pre-diabetes a concern?

2 million Australians are thought to have pre-diabetes and left untreated may develop into type 2 diabetes within 5 – 10 years.

Pre-diabetes increases the incidence of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

2 million Australians are thought to have pre-diabetes

People with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk
of developing type 2 diabetes


Pre-diabetes is diagnosed from the results of an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). This test is ordered by a doctor and performed at a pathology laboratory. The test involves a blood sample being taken before and two hours after a glucose drink is consumed.


Research has shown that people with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes to include regular physical activity and healthy eating.



Risk factors for developing pre-diabetes

  • People with a family history of type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease
  • People who lead a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People with high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol and or high total cholesterol
  • People who are 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
  • People who have heart disease or have had a heart attack
  • Women who have had diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or given birth to a big baby (more than 4.5kg)
  • Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • People of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, Pacific Islands, Asia and Indian heritage

To learn more about your risks and what you can do about it, see our  please see our pre-diabetes information sheet.