Does screening for diabetes in at-risk patients improve long-term outcomes?

Nordone, Danielle S.; Westerberg, Dyanne; Wolf, Diane
May 2004
Journal of Family Practice;May2004, Vol. 53 Issue 5, p401
Academic Journal
No randomized clinical trials or prospective studies have demonstrated adequate evidence to screen individuals for diabetes mellitus. The group of patients most likely to benefit from diabetes screening are patients with hypertension, or those whose risk for coronary heart disease is such that a diagnosis of diabetes would mandate addition of aspirin or lipid-lowering agents. It is estimated that by the year 2010 approximately 216 million individuals worldwide will be affected with diabetes; 90 percent of these people will have type 2. For screening to be effective, the disease of interest must have an easily detectable asymptomatic state, and a treatment that improves outcomes by intervening before symptoms develop. The American Diabetes Association recommends that health care providers consider screening patients at age 45 years and continue screening in three-year intervals.


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