Overweight adults should be screened for diabetes at 35, experts say

About a third of American adults have high blood sugar, a condition called prediabetes that often precedes type 2 diabetes and can progre...

About a third of American adults have high blood sugar, a condition called prediabetes that often precedes type 2 diabetes and can progress to a disease in its own right. Most don’t know they have the disease, which doesn’t produce obvious symptoms and that’s why screening is essential, Dr Barry said.

Being overweight or obese is the most important risk factor for the most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and for prediabetes. Lifestyle changes – including increased physical activity, a healthier diet, and even modest weight loss – can prevent the progression from prediabetes to full-blown diabetes. (Drug treatment is also an option.)

Screening usually involves a blood test to determine if blood sugar (or glucose) is high. The task force called for lowering the age of first screening to 35, as this is when the prevalence of type 2 diabetes begins to rise. Screening should be done every three years until the age of 70, the task force said.

Dr Tannaz Moin, endocrinologist who co-authored an accompanying editorial the new recommendations, said lowering the screening age was a step in the right direction and that she was pleased that the guidelines emphasized the importance of detecting prediabetes.

“There is a lot more recognition that pre-diabetes is a big problem that often goes unnoticed,” she said. Detecting prediabetes in young adults is essential because they can live with diabetes for a long time if they develop it at a relatively young age, and will be at greater risk of developing complications.

Intensive lifestyle interventions focused on moderate weight loss that include 150 minutes of physical activity per week can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in overweight or obese people with prediabetes. A drug, metformin, is also an option but is not as beneficial as lifestyle changes.

“We have very good evidence that we can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes if we get people with pre-diabetes to do something to reduce their risk,” said Dr Moin. “It’s the same with people with type 2 diabetes: once we know they have it, we have a whole toolkit we can offer them. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Overweight adults should be screened for diabetes at 35, experts say
Overweight adults should be screened for diabetes at 35, experts say
Newsrust - US Top News
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