Kahn and his colleagues evaluated eight simulated screening strategies for type 2 diabetes, such as beginning screening at age 30 and repeating the test every three years, or starting at age 45 and repeating the test every year, or waiting until age 60 and repeating the test every three years.
For all of the screening simulations that began between ages 30 and 45, the researchers found a cost and quality-of-life benefit.
"Everybody should get screened for diabetes on a regular basis between 30 and 45 years, and repeat the screen every three to five years," said Kahn. "Screening is cost-effective. It's a bargain in the world of medicine to screen and get someone into effective treatment."
"One of the big questions we've had is: does screening make a difference? This study shows us that screening in ages 30 to 45 will probably make a difference in number of people diagnosed with heart disease, kidney disease and other morbidities," said Dr. Rita Louard, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
"We've come a long way in our ability to manage people with diabetes, so screening becomes more important because once people get identified, we now have better tools to get them to their goals. And, it's not only the blood sugars we're looking at. It's really about the other complications that track with the disease, like heart disease. So, we're more aggressive with blood pressure and with their lipids [cholesterol] once diabetes is identified," she explained.
Results of the study are published in the March 30 online edition of The Lancet. Study funding was provided by Novo Nordisk, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer. These companies all produce diabetes treatments or products. However, the sponsors had no role in the design of t
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