Guideline-Based Screening May Miss Up to Half of Diabetic and Prediabetic Patients

JULY 15, 2016
Andrew Smith
A retrospective analysis of diabetes and prediabetes diagnoses found that screening guidelines from the United States Preventative Service Task Force (USPSTF) would have detected less than half of all cases that were discovered.
The USPSTF guidelines, which were introduced last fall, recommend that all patients aged 40-70 years whose body mass index (BMI) is ≥ 25 be screened for dysglycemia (ie, either type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM] or prediabetes). Investigators checked how these screening recommendations would have fared on 50,515 primary care patients from 6 health centers in the Midwest and Southwest.
Electronic health record (EHR) data from 2008 to 2010 indicated that, at baseline, 12,679 (25.1%) met USPSTF guidelines for automatic screening and that 8,478 of the total cohort was actually diagnosed with either T2DM (2,518 patients) or prediabetes (5,960 patients) during an average of 1.6 years of follow-up.
Investigators from Northwestern University compared the pool of patients who qualified for screening with the pool of patients who were diagnosed with T2DM or prediabetes. Overall, they found, only 45% of those who were eventually diagnosed with dysglycemia would have been urged to undergo screening under current USPSTF testing criteria.

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