Experts Recommend Lowering Age to 35 for Initial Prediabetes, Type 2 Diabetes Screening.
For adults who are overweight or have obesity, experts now recommend initial screenings for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes be done between ages 35 to 70.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults aged 35 to 70 years who are overweight or have obesity.
This is a change from their previous recommendation that suggested adults who are overweight or have obesity be screened between the ages of 40 to 70.
The goal of earlier screening is to help people avoid developing diabetes and its associated health risks.
Prediabetes can be treated with lifestyle changes and sometimes medications.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention, announcedTrusted Source that they’re revising their recommendations for initial screening for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes for adults who are overweight or have obesity.
The revised recommendation suggests people between the ages of 35 to 70 who are overweight or have obesity should be screened. This has been changed from the previous recommended age range of people 40 to 70 years.
Obesity is the leading risk factorTrusted Source for type 2 diabetes.
They further suggest that patients with prediabetes should be referred to interventions aimed at preventing them from developing type 2 diabetes.
Why earlier screening is better
According to Vice-Chairperson Dr. Michael Barry, the task force reviews emerging research and updates their recommendations based on new evidence about every 5 years.
The current update to their recommendations was prompted by new evidence that lowering the age from 40 to 35 could be beneficial to patients.
“If the screening identifies someone as having prediabetes, they can then help prevent the progression to diabetes by making changes to their diet and physical activity,” said Barry.
“This is especially important because diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and can result in serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and limb amputation.”
Dr. Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic who’s not on the task force, added that 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes, and it’s estimated that 13 percent of adults over the age of 18 have diabetes.
She said the hope is that earlier screening will capture more people with undiagnosed and untreated diabetes. If diabetes is detected earlier, then patients will have better health outcomes and there will be a decreased risk of complications.