Precursor to diabetes more dangerous than previously assumed – healing practice

Prediabetes is more than a final warning

Type 2 diabetes has developed into a veritable widespread disease in recent decades. Prediabetes is the preliminary stage of the metabolic disease and has so far been understood by experts and those affected as a kind of “last warning”. However, recent research shows that the early stages of diabetes have more serious health implications than previously thought.

Researchers at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) point out that, according to a current and comprehensive review, prediabetes is more harmful than previously thought. Already the precursor to diabetes mellitus increases the risk of serious complications. The research results were recently published in the diabetes journal “Diabetology“ published.

Up until now, prediabetes has been underestimated

Numerous studies have already shown that diabetes increases the risk of dangerous secondary diseases and complications. On the other hand, comparatively little attention was paid to prediabetes, i.e. the preliminary stage of diabetes – wrongly so, as the researchers at the German Diabetes Center show in a review. Because prediabetes in itself seems to be a risk factor for serious secondary diseases.

Risks of prediabetes not adequately studied

As the working group explains, prediabetes is a preliminary stage of type 2 diabetes, in which the sugar metabolism is already disturbed. The condition suggests that there is no specific disease, but as the researchers have now shown, the preliminary stage is already to be understood as a disease that entails risks. These risks have now been evaluated more precisely by the German Diabetes Center.

“We’re talking about a so-called umbrella review here,” explains Professor Dr. Michael Roden, the scientific director and board member of the DDZ. “Such reviews summarize data from meta-analyses, which in turn bundle all individual studies on a specific topic,” the expert continues.

dangers of prediabetes

According to Professor Roden, the results show that prediabetes is associated with an increased risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, dementia and cancer and a higher mortality rate in general. Prediabetes is therefore more dangerous than assumed and requires increased attention not only from science but also in clinical practice.

Prediabetes on the rise

The findings are particularly relevant in view of the increasing number of cases of prediabetes worldwide. According to estimates by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 10.6 percent of the adult population worldwide are already affected by prediabetes, i.e. over 540 million people. If the increase continues, the proportion of those affected will increase to 11.4 percent by 2045, which would correspond to around 730 million people.

Prediabetes as an opportunity

At the same time, the preliminary stage offers the possibility of averting pronounced diabetes. Risk factors that can mostly be influenced, such as obesity, unhealthy nutrition and lack of exercise, would have to be addressed in order to prevent or at least delay the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications.

“Reviews such as this Umbrella Review help us to gain a broad overview of a topic and to evaluate the resilience of the respective results according to reproducible and transparent standards,” adds study leader Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger from the DDZ.

Further research urgently needed

“In view of the identified research gaps in this area, further investigations into the connections between prediabetes and various health consequences are required in order to be able to assess the potential clinical and cost-related benefits of intervention measures more well-founded,” Schlesinger sums up. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of medical specialist literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


Diploma-Editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • German Diabetes Center: Prediabetes more dangerous than assumed (published: 01/21/2022),
  • Schlesinger S, Neuenschwander M, Barbaresko J, Lang A, Maalmi H, Rathmann W, Roden M, Herder C. Prediabetes and risk of mortality, diabetes-related complications and comorbidities: umbrella review of meta-analyses of prospective studies. Diabetologia. 2022 Feb;65(2):275-285. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05592-3.,

Important NOTE:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

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