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Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes is a serious health condition and a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to significant disability, including blindness, amputations, and kidney failure. 

In 2021, 3.2 million (10.8 percent) California adults had diabetes and 5.9 million (19.7 percent) were estimated to have prediabetes, and of those diagnosed, 80 percent take medication to treat their diabetes. Prediabetes and diabetes are prevalent among those who have low income, low education attainment, and people of color in California. In 2021, diabetes prevalence was two times higher among non- Hispanic African Americans, non- Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives and Hispanics, and one and half times higher among non-Hispanic Asians compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Prediabetes prevalence is more than one and half times higher among non- Hispanic African Americans, non-Hispanic Asians, and Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic Whites. In 2020, compared with non-Hispanic Whites, diabetes death was three times higher among non- Hispanic African Americans and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, two times higher among non- Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives and Hispanics, and 1.2 times higher among non-Hispanic Asians. ​

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) oversees several ongoing activities that support the primary prevention of diabetes through the promotion of healthy eating, increased physical activity, tobacco cessation, and the prevention and control of overweight and obesity. Secondary prevention activities focus on evidence-based strategies to prevent or delay the onset of complications among Californians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. CDPH is establishing a statewide network of evidence-based lifestyle change programs that are designed to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes among people at highest risk and prevent or delay the onset of complications among people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

​Tests for​​ Diabetes​

A1C Test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 or 3 months.

Fasting Blood Sugar Test measures your blood sugar after an overnight fast (not eat).

Glucose Tolerance Test measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a liquid that contains glucose. You’ll fast (not eat) overnight before the test and have your blood drawn to determine your fasting blood sugar level. Then you’ll drink the liquid and have your blood sugar level checked 1 hour–3 hours afterward.

Random Blood Sugar Test measures your blood sugar at the time you’re tested. You can take this test at any time and don’t need to fast (not eat) first.​

A1C Test
Fasting Blood Sugar Test 
Glucose Tolerance Test 
​​Random Blood Sugar Test 
Diabetes ​​
6.5% or above
​126mg/dL or above
​200mg/dL or above
​200mg/dL or above
​Below 5.7%
​99mg/dL or​ below
​140mg/dL or below

​*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if you’re being tested for gestational diabetes.​

​ For more information, visit CDC Diabetes Tests.​

​COVID-19 and Diabetes

Diabetes - Stay in Control

If you have diabetes, stay in control. People with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with COVID-19. When people with diabetes experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes – Stay in Control Tips:

  • Keep your blood sugar under control. Monitor your glucose levels.
  • Stock-up on insulin and medical supplies. Make sure you have enough for an extended time.

  • Keep space between yourself and others.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.

  • Make sure you can reach your doctor quickly. Put your doctor’s and health care provider’s contact information in an easy-to-locate place. Call ahead before physically presenting to a clinic or hospital.

  • Create a list of support contacts who you might call on if needed, such as friends, relatives, colleagues, and neighbors.

  • Take stock of food, beverage, and hygiene supplies for yourself, your family, and your pets.

  • Eat healthy foods. Stock up on healthy, affordable staples. Choose options with the least amount of added salt and sugar.

  • Continue with outdoor activities. As long as you practice social distancing, continue your outdoor activities such as walks, runs, and yardwork, to the extent your health allows it.

  • Ask family members to conduct themselves as though they are a great risk to your health.  

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