U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Issues Draft Recommendation Statement on Screening for Type 2 Diabetes

In a much needed update to the 2008 recommendations, the USPTSF has published draft recommendations for public comment. The draft guidelines are a step forward aligning themselves with the other US diabetes organizations.  It is important that all diabetes stakeholders are speaking a similar message and providing the same guidance for screening. This will alleviate any misunderstanding among people at risk and healthcare professionals alike.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a draft recommendation regarding screening for abnormal blood glucose levels in all adults at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. “The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that measuring blood glucose to detect impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes has a moderate net benefit in adults at increased risk for diabetes,” according to the draft recommendation.
Diabetes educationBefore the USPSTF conducts its final evidence review, the Task Force is providing an opportunity for public comment on this draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review until November 3.

Comments can be submitted now until November 3.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Risk factors for impaired fasting glucose levels, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes that warranted screening for abnormal blood glucose levels according to the draft recommendation include the following:

  • age 45 years or older
  • overweight or obesity
  • first-degree relative with diabetes
  • history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome in women

Certain racial/ethnic minorities also are at increased risk for diabetes and should be screened according to the USPSTF draft recommendations, including African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders.

AACE Supports the Draft Recommendations
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) supports the updated diabetes screening recommendations. If approved, the broadened screening criteria in the USPSTF recommendation will be consistent with the AACE clinical guidelines.

“We are very pleased that the expanded USPSTF guidelines are now more aligned with our organization’s clinical guidelines,” said Yehuda Handelsman, MD, Chair of the AACE Diabetes Scientific Committee and President of the American College of Endocrinology. “In view of the epidemic of diabetes and the near 90 million people with pre-diabetes, these guidelines will allow for an earlier and better identification of diabetes for the benefit of patients and healthcare,” Dr. Handelsman said.

The recommendation is listed as grade B, meaning “there is high certainty that the net benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit is moderate to substantial,” according to the draft recommendation.

“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. The best way to do that is to participate in a program that supports these behaviors,” said Task Force member Michael Pignone, MD, MPH, in a statement. “That’s why we’re recommending that people who are at increased risk be screened,” he said.

October 20, 2014

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