Start screening for Type 2 diabetes earlier, at age 35, task force recommends

Start screening for Type 2 diabetes earlier, at age 35, task force recommends

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended lowering the age to start screening for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes among obese or overweight adults by five years, to age 35.

“Clinicians can prevent serious health complications by screening adults with overweight or obesity for prediabetes and diabetes,” Task Force member Chien-Wen Tseng said in a news release.

Pre-diabetes is when a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet for a diabetes diagnosis. Although it is very common, it can also be reversed with proper diet and exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 34.2 million Americans are living with diabetes, or some 10.5% of the U.S. population, according to the CDC.

About 34.2 million Americans are living with diabetes, or some 10.5% of the U.S. population, according to the CDC. (iStock)

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It has also been recommended that all adults over the age of 45 get tested for pre-diabetes and diabetes regardless of risk factors. According to CDC statistical data, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, noting that about 34.2 million or 10.5% of the population has diabetes, and 88 million people aged 18 and older, or 34.5% of U.S. adults, have pre-diabetes. 

“Fortunately, there are interventions that are effective for preventing prediabetes from progressing to diabetes and in helping people with prediabetes improve their health,” added Michael Barry, Task Force vice chair.

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Those preventive interventions recommended to combat diabetes include proper diet and exercise, among other interventions. The recommendations come federally-funded research indicated diabetes surged among American children, teens and adolescents to 2017,  finding a 45% increase in Type 1 diagnoses, and a 95% growth in Type 2 diagnoses.