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Prediabetes Doubles Chance of Cardiovascular Event

By Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, MDs

People like to predict things — and sometimes they are uncannily accurate. In 1909, Nikola Tesla, the former right-hand man of Thomas Edison, told The New York Times: "It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can carry and operate his own apparatus." New predictions about your health risks from prediabetes are just as visionary.

A study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session looked at the health outcomes for more than 25,000 people ages 18 to 104 and found that serious cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, occurred in 18% of people with prediabetes compared with 11% of people with normal blood sugar levels.

"Based on our data, having prediabetes nearly doubled the chance of a major adverse cardiovascular event," says Dr. Adrian Michel, lead author of the study. "Instead of preventing diabetes, we need to shift focus and prevent prediabetes."

There are four steps you can take that will help prevent prediabetes — or if you've been diagnosed, help reverse it or at least reduce the risks.

  1. Adopt a plant-based diet, eating five to nine servings a day of fruits, vegetables, and grains, and animal protein from fatty fish like salmon and skinless poultry.
  2. Ditch added sugars, syrups, and ultra-processed foods.
  3. Move a lot — 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent; and do regular strength-building exercises.
  4. Manage your stress response (and blood sugar) by getting good sleep, and use stress-reduction techniques like meditation.