Screening bottles

Around half of adults have missed out on diabetes screening in the last three years according to data obtained from two national surveys.

Whilst the American Diabetes Association recommends that all people over 45 years old should be screened for diabetes only 53.2% have been screened for diabetes in the last 3 years. The data comes from 2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the 2006 National Health Interview Survey, which included responses from 21,519 adults.

The study, which appears in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, shows that people more likely to be missing out on diabetes screening tests were male, Hispanics and people with a lower socioeconomic status.

Diabetes screening is strongly recommended as by catching diabetes early, a lot can be done to limit the damage it can do. It’s important to watch out for the symptoms of diabetes but, as diabetes can cause significant damage to the body before symptoms appear, it’s better to attend diabetes screenings which can detect diabetes before symptoms become apparent.

If diabetes is caught late, it can mean that when diabetes is diagnosed, one or more health complications of diabetes may have developed by that point. Whereas if diabetes is in the early stage, you have a better chance of holding back the development of diabetic complications and many people will have the chance to delay, or even prevent, the need to take diabetes medication.