In an update to their 2008 recommendations, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is calling for screening of overweight and obese adults between 40 and 70 years of age for abnormal blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes. The recommendation applies to individuals being seen in primary care settings with no symptoms of type 2 diabetes as a component of cardiovascular risk assessment. Adults who are shown to have elevated glucose levels should be referred for intensive behavioral counseling, emphasizing a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
The USPSTF’s draft recommendations released last year called for screening of all individuals at high risk for diabetes; thus the final recommendations are being met with disappointment by organizations including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). According to Steven J. Stack, MD, President of the AMA, “While the AMA was supportive of the Task Force’s draft recommendations put forth one year ago that called for screening all individuals at high risk for diabetes, the final recommendations fall far short of meeting the needs of the American people who are suffering an epidemic of undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes.” The AMA recommends screening all patients at risk, including those younger than age 40. Similarly, the ADA pointed out that type 2 diabetes can also result in life-threatening complications unrelated to cardiovascular disease. Robert Ratner, MD, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the ADA said, “Diabetes is also a leading cause of blindness and amputation, and is the only rising cause of end-stage kidney disease. Therefore, it is shocking that the USPSTF ignored the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes itself.”
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