Are Doctors Missing Diabetics?

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MADISON, Wis.—If you are 45 years and older, overweight and have high-risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, you should ask your doctor for a diabetes test during routine visits, says Dr. Ann Sheehy, a hospitalist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

“Since Type 2 diabetes is often asymptomatic, most people are not aware they have the disease until they have a blood test showing elevated blood glucose,” she said.

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Doctors may also miss the diagnosis because one of the two main national screening guidelines they use doesn’t identify about one-third of those with diabetes.

That’s what Sheehan and collaborators found in a study comparing the two guidelines—one from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the other from the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
According to the study, the USPSTF guideline, which recommends diabetes screening only for people with high blood pressure, missed the mark substantially. The ADA test was much more reliable.


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