Intended for healthcare professionals


Screen all adults 45 or over for abnormal glucose, says US panel

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 09 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6146
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

All adults aged 45 or older should be screened for abnormal blood sugar concentrations, as well as adults under 45 who have risk factors for impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes, say draft recommendations released 6 October by the US Preventive Services Task Force.1 The recommendations are open for public comment until 3 November.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus typically develops slowly, progressing from normal blood glucose to impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance and to diabetes, a process that can take a decade or longer. Both impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose are risk factors for diabetes, the task force noted.

If adopted, the new recommendation would update the task force’s 2008 guideline, which recommended screening for diabetes in adults with hypertension (sustained blood pressure >135/80 mm Hg). The task force’s assessment at that time found insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening adults without hypertension.

The task force is an independent panel commissioned by the US government to make recommendations on preventive care for patients who …

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