A new study concludes that the current diabetes screening guidelines are working and, if followed, have the potential to detect all new cases. The recommendations, adopted by several medical societies, suggest that people without any symptoms should be screened for diabetes every 3 years beginning at age 45. For individuals with risk factors, screening should occur more often and start at an earlier age.
Because about one third of those with diabetes go undetected, researchers were curious as to whether the screening guidelines are adequate to catch new diabetes cases. Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (August 18, 2003) showed that screening all adults with at least 1 risk factor for diabetes would identify nearly 100% of new cases of diabetes but would require that 83% of the adult population be screened.
Researchers acknowledge that screening when 2 risk factors are present is ?more efficient,? detecting 98% of diabetes cases by screening only 59% of the adult population.