USPSTF: Screen At-Risk Adults for Type 2 Diabetes

(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for abnormal blood glucose and type 2 diabetes in adults aged older than 45 years and in those who are younger with certain risk factors.

Identified risk factors for impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and diabetes include modifiable risk factors such as obesity, physical inactivity and smoking as well as non-modifiable risk factors such as increasing age, race/ethnicity, a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance, a first-degree relative with diabetes and, in women, a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome.

The draft recommendation statement is based on an evidence review conducted by the USPSTF, which was conducted with the goal of updating the 2008 recommendations on type 2 diabetes screening in adults.

Evidence showing that measuring blood glucose results in improved mortality or cardiovascular morbidity was insufficient, according to the review.

However, the USPSTF found adequate evidence supporting measuring blood glucose in adults at increased risk for diabetes and to support use of intensive lifestyle interventions for those with IFG or IGT, which were associated with a decreased risk for progression to diabetes.

The USPSTF also determined that evidence indicating that intensive lifestyle modifications could lower incidence of diabetes as well as CV and all-cause mortality was adequate. 

Measuring blood glucose was associated with short-term anxiety but no evidence of long-term psychological harms.

These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement that is available for comment from Oct. 7 to Nov. 3.

“For people with abnormal blood sugar, changes in their lifestyle, such as eating healthier and exercising more often, can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes,” Task Force member Michael Pignone, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re recommending that people who are at increased risk be screened.”

Robert A. Vigersky, MD

In a press release, the Endocrine Society expressed support of the new recommendations, noting that previously, the USPSTF only recommended type 2 diabetes screening in asymptomatic adults with high systolic blood pressure.

The newly proposed recommendations take new evidence on the benefits of screening and intensive lifestyle intervention to prevent progression to diabetes in people with IFG and IGT, according to the release.

“The Endocrine Society applauds and fully supports the USPSTF’s new diabetes screening recommendations to include measuring blood glucose for adults at increased risk for diabetes,” Robert A. Vigersky, MD, past-president of the Endocrine Society and director of the Diabetes Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, said in the statement.

“It’s critical to identify people with undiagnosed diabetes and risk factors for diabetes to allow for early interventions to prevent or delay the disease and its complications.”


  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Draft Evidence Review. Accessed Oct. 7, 2014.
  2. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Draft Recommendations. Accessed Oct. 7, 2014.