According to a Netherlands study, one in two middle-aged adults, despite having normal blood glucose levels, will develop prediabetes.
Looking at 10,050 people aged 45 or older, the Rotterdam Study was conducted between 1997 and 2012, with the results published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Before the study, 75 per cent of them had normoglycemia (normal blood glucose levels). 12 per cent of the participants had type 2 diabetes, and 14 per cent of the group having prediabetes.
The follow up period was for an average of seven to 14 years, and found that 1149 of the study group who had normoglycemia at the beginning ended up with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was developed by 828 previously non-diabetic people, and 237 type 2 diabetics found themselves having to use insulin to control their condition.
The research team wrote: "Impaired glucose metabolism is a substantial burden on population health, and our findings emphasise the need for more effective prevention strategies, which should be implemented as soon in a person's life as possible."
"The substantial lifetime risk of prediabetes and diabetes in lean individuals also supports risk factor control in non-obese individuals," they continued.
For people aged 45 years, there was a 49 per cent remaining lifetime risk of prediabetes being developed. The risk for the development of type 2 diabetes was 31 per cent, and for insulin use it was 9 per cent.