Begin Diabetes Screening at 35 if Obese, Overweight

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

TUESDAY, March 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Screening for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes in overweight or obese people should begin at age 35 instead of 40, according to a panel of experts.

Such screening should continue for up to 70 years, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent and voluntary panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.

“Healthcare providers can help people improve their health by screening overweight or obese people for prediabetes and diabetes,” said Dr Michael Barry, task force member, director of the Informed Medical Decisions program and the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. In Boston.

“Screening and early detection can help prevent prediabetes and diabetes from getting worse and leading to other health problems,” Barry said in a task force press release. He is also professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

An expert said the age change could make a real difference.

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“From my perspective, these guidelines are important. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and blindness in the United States, they are preventable diseases,” said Dr. Emily Gallagher, assistant professor of medicine, d endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “Unfortunately, people are still often unaware that they have diabetes, and they only find out they have diabetes when they develop a complication such as a heart attack or a foot ulcer.”

But when screening detects prediabetes, lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet and increased physical activity can help prevent diabetes and also lower weight, blood pressure and lipid levels, according to the doctor. work group.

“The clinical course of prediabetes and diabetes can be altered with early intervention,” noted Gallagher. “New diabetes therapies may not only improve diabetes control, but also reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.”. “

The members of the task force have said the same thing.

“The task force found that there are effective ways to help people with prediabetes reduce their risk of diabetes and improve their overall health,” said Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng. She is the Hawaii Medical Service Association Chair in Health Services and Quality Research, Professor and Associate Research Director at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii.

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“Clinicians and patients should discuss these benefits and choose the approach that works best for each individual,” Tseng said in the release.

The working group’s new draft recommendation updates a 2015 recommendation. A public comment period on the draft recommendation is open until April 12.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and limb amputation. Overweight / obesity is one of the main risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes.

More information

The US National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on diabetes prevention.

SOURCES: Emily Gallagher, MD, assistant professor, medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease, Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City; US Preventive Services Task Force, press release, March 16, 2021

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