Does screening for diabetes in at-risk patients improve long-term outcomes?
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No randomized clinical trials or prospective studies have demonstrated adequate evidence to screen individuals for diabetes mellitus. A recently published meta-analysis for the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) stated that “until we have better evidence about its benefits, harms, and costs, the role of screening as a strategy to reduce the burden of suffering of diabetes will remain uncertain” (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on inconclusive studies). The group of patients most likely to benefit from diabetes screening are patients with hypertension (SOR: B), or those whose risk for coronary heart disease is such that a diagnosis of diabetes would mandate addition of aspirin or lipid-lowering agents (SOR: C).
Journal of Family Practice, 53(5) 2004: 401-403.