Diagnosis and Management of Prediabetes: A Review

JAMA. 2023 Apr 11;329(14):1206-1216. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.4063.


Importance: Prediabetes, an intermediate stage between normal glucose regulation and diabetes, affects 1 in 3 adults in the US and approximately 720 million individuals worldwide.

Observations: Prediabetes is defined by a fasting glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL, a glucose level of 140 to 199 mg/dL measured 2 hours after a 75-g oral glucose load, or glycated hemoglobin level (HbA1C) of 5.7% to 6.4% or 6.0% to 6.4%. In the US, approximately 10% of people with prediabetes progress to having diabetes each year. A meta-analysis found that prediabetes at baseline was associated with increased mortality and increased cardiovascular event rates (excess absolute risk, 7.36 per 10 000 person-years for mortality and 8.75 per 10 000 person-years for cardiovascular disease during 6.6 years). Intensive lifestyle modification, consisting of calorie restriction, increased physical activity (≥150 min/wk), self-monitoring, and motivational support, decreased the incidence of diabetes by 6.2 cases per 100 person-years during a 3-year period. Metformin decreased the risk of diabetes among individuals with prediabetes by 3.2 cases per 100 person-years during 3 years. Metformin is most effective for women with prior gestational diabetes and for individuals younger than 60 years with body mass index of 35 or greater, fasting plasma glucose level of 110 mg/dL or higher, or HbA1c level of 6.0% or higher.

Conclusions and relevance: Prediabetes is associated with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular events, and mortality. First-line therapy for prediabetes is lifestyle modification that includes weight loss and exercise or metformin. Lifestyle modification is associated with a larger benefit than metformin.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factors
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Health Behavior
  • Healthy Lifestyle*
  • Humans
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Prediabetic State* / blood
  • Prediabetic State* / diagnosis
  • Prediabetic State* / epidemiology
  • Prediabetic State* / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Metformin