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USPSTF Urges Broader Screening for Type 2 Diabetes

Task Force advises testing overweight, obese people aged 40 to 70 for abnormal blood sugar

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Clinicians should screen overweight and obese adults between 40 and 70 years old for abnormal blood glucose levels, and should offer or refer patients with abnormal blood glucose to intensive behavioral counseling interventions, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The new recommendations were published online Oct. 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Task Force, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention, last issued guidelines on screening for blood glucose in 2008. For the update, the team reviewed evidence on screening for impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, and type 2 diabetes in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adults who are at average or high risk for diabetes and its complications. The team notes that the recommendation applies to adults aged 40 to 70 years seen in primary care settings who do not have symptoms of diabetes and are overweight or obese.

Based on the review, the Task Force recommends screening blood glucose using one of three tests: hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, or oral glucose tolerance test. If the test results come back abnormal, the same test should be repeated on a different day for confirmation, the guidelines advise. For those who still have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, the Task Force said the most helpful interventions combine multiple sessions of counseling to promote a healthy diet and physical activity.

“Clinicians should offer or refer patients with abnormal glucose to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity (B recommendation),” the Task Force writes.

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