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USPSTF recommendations bolstered by new scientific evidence showing benefit to measuring blood glucose in adults at risk for diabetes

Washington, DC—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted yesterday a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for abnormal glucose and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The task force recommended screening for abnormal glucose and Type 2 diabetes in all adults over the age of 45. The Society participated in the review of the recommendations and supports the final recommendation statement.

In the statement, the USPSTF identified risk factors for impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and diabetes, including modifiable risks such as obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking and non-modifiable risk factors such as increasing age, race/ethnicity, a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance, a first-degree relative with diabetes and, in women, a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

“The Endocrine Society applauds and fully supports the USPSTF’s new diabetes screening recommendations to include measuring blood glucose for adults at increased risk for diabetes,” said Robert A. Vigersky, MD, past-president of the Endocrine Society and director of the Diabetes Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “It’s critical to identify people with undiagnosed diabetes and risk factors for diabetes to allow for early interventions to prevent or delay the disease and its complications.”

Prior to yesterday’s statement, the USPSTF recommended screening for Type 2 diabetes only in asymptomatic adults with high systolic blood pressure (SBP > 130mmHg). The new recommendations take into account recent scientific evidence that shows measuring blood glucose in adults at increased risk for diabetes and treating those who have IFG or IGT with intensive lifestyle interventions has a moderate benefit in decreasing the risk for progression to diabetes.

Lifestyle modifications may include improved nutrition, healthy eating behaviors and increased physical activity. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that intensive lifestyle modifications result in a lower incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. In rating the level of evidence for screening a “B”, such screening qualifies as a covered preventive service without cost-sharing under the Affordable Care Act. 

The Endocrine Society’s membership includes physicians who care for people with diabetes as well as researchers who study the condition. The rising number of diabetes cases is a critical issue. More than 29 million people nationwide have diabetes, including an estimated 8.1 million don’t know they have the condition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly half of endocrinologists’ office visits involved treating people with diabetes, according to the Society’s workforce analysis published in June.

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Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology.  Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 17,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.