Bmj Usa: Editorial

The case for screening for type 2 diabetes in selected populations

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E38
  1. Mayer B. Davidson, professor of medicine and director, Clinical Trials Unit (
  1. Charles R. Drew University, 1731 East 120th St., Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA

    We should follow the American Diabetes Association guidelines on screening

    This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

    Seven criteria should be considered when screening for a disease in an asymptomatic population.1 These are: a) the disease represents an important health problem that imposes a significant burden on the population; b) the natural history of the disease is understood; c) there is a recognizable preclinical (asymptomatic) stage during which the disease can be diagnosed; d) tests are available that can detect the preclinical stage of the disease and the tests are acceptable and reliable; e) treatment after early detection yields benefits superior to those obtained when treatment is delayed; f) the costs of case finding and treatment are reasonable and are balanced in relation to health expenditures as a whole, and facilities and resources are available to treat newly diagnosed cases; and g) screening will be a systematic ongoing process and not merely an isolated one-time effort.

    Selected populations recommended for screening for type 2 diabetes*

    1. Individuals ≥45 years (if normal, repeat at 3-year intervals) …

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