(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), all overweight individuals must be screened for type-2 diabetes, regardless if they have no clinical manifestations.
Starting Oct. 27, the Task Force recommends all overweight adults aged 40 to 70 years old should be subjected to tests for the disease even if they do not present symptoms. Those found to abnormal blood sugar levels – the harbinger of diabetes – will be referred to comprehensive behavioral counseling.
Dr. William Phillips, member of the Task Force, said people need to be taught healthy dietary practices and the importance of physical activity. Losing weight can help avoid or delay the development of diabetes, and counseling could be a safe way to do that.
Author Dr. Shelley Selph wrote a review on the new Task Force recommendations, saying they could play a vital role in curbing obesity – one of the greatest risk factor for diabetes. If the disease can be avoided through exercise and healthy diet, it may translate into a decline in heart problems and death rates.
USPSTF has recommended back in 2008 that adults with high blood pressure should undergo diabetes testing; however, the task was unable to present enough proof to justify the same testing be mandatory for overweight individuals with exhibit no clinical signs of diabetes.
That has changed in the meantime; since then, six studies on the matter have been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, all pointing to the fact that it’s definitely helpful to alter and improve someone’s lifestyle as a prevention method for diabetes.
Dr. Michael P. Pignone, a member of the Task Force from the University of North Carolina, said that healthy individuals undergoing diagnostic procedures may experience both beneficial and hazardous effects. However, he stands by the recommendations, saying that physicians should focus on tests that they know are the most effective.
In spite of being grateful for the Task Force’s updated guidelines, the American Diabetes Association is not completely pleased. The Association thinks that narrowing the focus on individuals aged 40-70 years old leaves out the age group with the most number of undiagnosed cases.
Adults aged 20-44 years old have the highest rate of undiagnosed diabetes cases – almost 60 percent higher that the entire adult population. Roughly 86 million individuals in the U.S. have abnormal blood sugar, and within 5 years, up to 30 percent of the population could develop type-2 diabetes if the current lifestyle trends continue.
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