The Wyoming Department of Health is looking to educate the public on prediabetes in order to lower cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

In a state where there are over 40,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, Wyoming also has an estimated 148,000 possible cases of prediabetes, which can be reversed.

The CDC estimates that 90% of people who have prediabetes are not aware of it.

“A simple definition of prediabetes is when a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, in a release.

“Most people with prediabetes don't know they have it, which is unfortunate because prediabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and increased physical activity,” added Harrist.

National Diabetes Prevention Program, a national campaign by the CDC, has raised awareness about the condition and promotes lifestyle changes that can prevent further development. The campaign encourages people to take a short online risk test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org.

Harrist noted research shows people are much more likely to make needed lifestyle changes once they are aware of their condition.

“We encourage people in Wyoming to talk with their healthcare providers about their personal risk of both prediabetes and diabetes and whether they need to be tested for abnormal blood sugar levels,” Harrist said.

The WDH Wyoming Chronic Disease Prevention Program works to reduce diabetes here in the state through partnerships with county health departments, public health offices, hospitals, and community organizations. The program provides free prediabetes awareness materials and funding to support evidence-based diabetes prevention programs.

Information about the Wyoming Chronic Disease Prevention Program is available at health.wyo.gov.