Diabetes Blood Test Recommended for Every Overweight Adult
All U.S. adults who are overweight or have a diagnosis of obesity should get routine test for diabetes to help monitor risk of heart disease.
That's the recommendation of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of medical experts who make recommendations for public health. The group advised that these screenings take place even if a person has shown no symptoms of diabetes. Being overweight or developing obesity are both high risk factors for also developing Type 2 diabetes, and experts note that additionally up to one-third of adults have abnormal blood sugar levels.
This is the first time the panel has urged overweight adults between ages 40 and 70 to undergo a diabetes blood test.
The USPSTF also recommends that doctors conduct earlier screenings for adults who are higher risk. This includes those with a family history of diabetes, women who have had diabetes during pregnancy, or demographics that are naturally at higher risk such as African-Americans or Hispanics.
The American Diabetes Association has been known to push for routine screenings in the past, but due to other factors such as cost and research data, the USPSTF had not taken a public position. Now, experts believe the overwhelming data and much simpler A1C hemoglobin blood glucose testing have influenced the USPSTF to support the practice of routine screenings.