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What is prediabetes?
Estimates show that 1 in 3 Coloradans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 6 years.

Prediabetes means higher than normal blood sugar levels and is a precursor for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes requires constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and carries the risk for more serious and costly health problems, such as loss of vision, lower limb amputations and kidney disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will have type 2 diabetes by 2050 if obesity and prediabetes rates continue to climb.

To learn more about prediabetes:

What are the risk factors for prediabetes?

Coloradans who are overweight and physically inactive with a family history of diabetes are at greater risk for developing diabetes and should have their blood sugar levels checked by their health care providers to determine their risk.

Many factors increase your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. To find out more about your risk, see which characteristics in this list apply to you.

• I am 45 years of age or older.
• I am overweight.
• I have a parent with diabetes.
• I have a sister or brother with diabetes.
• My family background is African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander.
• I had diabetes while I was pregnant (gestational diabetes), or I gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
• I am physically active less than three times a week.
• I have high blood pressure.

What does prediabetes have to do with my heart?

Both prediabetes and high blood pressure share many risk factors. What puts you at risk for developing high blood pressure could also lead to diabetes. Having high blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Long-term damage to the cardiovascular system may occur while a person has prediabetes.
According to the CDC, up to 20% of deaths from heart attack and 15% of deaths from stroke are related to diabetes or prediabetes.
High blood sugar can cause heart and blood vessel problems. High blood sugar levels damage blood vessels by making the walls of the vessels thicker and narrower.

Narrowed blood vessels leave a smaller opening for blood to flow through. Having narrowed blood vessels is like turning on a garden hose and holding your thumb over the opening. The smaller opening makes the water shoot out with more pressure. In the same way, narrowed blood vessels lead to high blood pressure.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

You probably won’t. Even when your blood pressure is high all the time, you won’t have symptoms. In fact, many people have this disease for years without knowing it.

Many people believe that high blood pressure has to do with being tense, nervous or hyperactive. Not true. You can be a calm, relaxed person and still have high blood pressure.

The only way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure checked! Talk to your health care provider about your blood pressure numbers, and find out what you can do to reduce your risk.

To learn more about high blood pressure, visit:

To learn more about risk factors for prediabetes:

The Diabetes Prevention Program

Prediabetes does not have to lead to type 2 diabetes. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is partnering with health plans, employers and community groups across Colorado to offer a program proven to help those with prediabetes avoid the serious health consequences of type 2 diabetes by making small lifestyle changes.

The Diabetes Prevention Program has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Taught by trained lifestyle coaches, this 16-week program includes weekly sessions on nutrition and physical activity, such as how to read food labels, how to develop and maintain a healthy diet, and how to deal with stress without overeating.

A diabetes prevention study shows that people who lose 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight can lower their risk for developing diabetes. For someone weighing 200 pounds, that means losing just 10 – 14 pounds. The Diabetes Prevention Program helps people reach this goal by eating healthier and increasing physical activity to 30 minutes a day five days a week.

The Diabetes Prevention Program can be a strong tool in the winnable battle against obesity and its consequences. If you want to find out more about prediabetes or Diabetes Prevention Programs in your area, please call 1-800-DIABETES.

To learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention program:

To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program in Colorado: |

To find a recognized Diabetes Prevention Program in Colorado:

The American Diabetes Association and the Diabetes Prevention Program:

Message from Angie:


Hello, my name is Angie Austin. I’m a radio host, wife and mother of 3 young children. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, so for the past 5 years I have been actively working to prevent myself from developing type 2 diabetes. I work out daily, I watch my carb intake and I carefully monitor my weight.

My father is 80 and he has type 2 diabetes. He manages his diabetes with diet and exercise. He is a strict vegan, he counts carbs, he teaches tai chi, and exercises approximately 2 hours per day. All 5 of his siblings also have diabetes. Most of them manage it thru strict diet and a lot of exercise. They are all in their 80s, and they are such an inspiration to me. They are one fit bunch!

My mother also has diabetes, but she is the complete opposite of my father. She is on medication, she has problems with the medication, she changes medication, she does not exercise, she does not count her carbs, she is overweight and she is walking with a cane at age 72. My dad at the age of 80 can balance on his 2 front hands while doing yoga, and my mom can barely walk thru the parking lot.

I have chosen to take my father’s route and I live a life of diabetes prevention. Every day I make choices to ensure my diagnosis of “metabolic resistance” does not turn into a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
I’m so proud to be a spokesperson for the diabetes prevention campaign, because your program is how I live my life.
Angie Austin

P.S. I also had gestational diabetes, and have taken metformin to keep my blood sugar in check during my pregnancy.

Angie Austin worked in TV news for 20 years before making the transition to “Good News” radio. Angie was the weekday morning anchor and weather forecaster on KWGN’s morning show for 11 years. Before joining KWGN, Angie worked in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

She now has her own show, called The Good News, every weekday from 1 to 1:30 pm on 670 KLTT. And on sister station 810 KLVZ from 5 to 6 PM. “The Good News” is about encouragement. The news we see and hear everyday is often negative and quite depressing. Angie Austin covered that bad news, and now she has a passion for sharing the positive things that are happening in our community. She features stories of hope and victory. Guests on the show are real people who have overcome obstacles in their lives and professionals who can offer advice and help to those struggling with a variety of situations.

UnitedHealthcare and Kaiser Permanente cover the Diabetes Prevention Program in Colorado

If you have Kaiser Permanente insurance through your employer, you may be able to participate in our Diabetes Prevention Program, “Healthy Connections” at no cost to you as part of your health plan. Please call 1-866-868-7112 for more information and to find a class location near you.

If you have UnitedHealthcare insurance through your employer, you may be able to participate in the program at no cost to you as part of your health plan. Please call 1-888-688-4019 for more information and to find a class location near you.

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


The State of Colorado encourages wellness among its employees to help them reduce their risk – On Sept. 1, the Diabetes Prevention Program became a covered benefit for state employees who have either United Healthcare or Kaiser. By promoting prevention and wellness, the State of Colorado, our state’s largest employer, is helping employees stay healthy and become healthier.