Overweight adults should commence diabetes screening programs as soon as possible, and at least once a year, to identify those at risk for complications and, hopefully, prevent deaths. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has now changed the recommended age of screening from 40 to 35 for adults who have overweight or obese.
“We know the rates of pre-diabetes and diabetes are increasing in people who are younger. Our main reason for dropping the age is to match the screening with where the problem is: If diabetes and pre-diabetes are occurring at a younger age, then we should be screening at a younger age,” declared Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, members of the Task Force. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also recommended screenings for all adults over the age of 45.
According to the new guidelines, screenings should also be done for pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Certain people develop pre-diabetes before they actually become diabetic (known as sub-diabetics), but for the majority of people with diabetes, there are precautions you can take to avoid getting into this type of condition. Examples include eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, and giving yourself regular blood sugar checks.
Being overweight can increase your risk of diabetes – especially if you are an obese person who does not exercise regularly. Being overweight puts extra stress on your organs and tissues, potentially leading to chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke. The Task Force also listed other factors that can increase risk, such as “older age, family history, history of gestational diabetes, history of polycystic ovarian syndrome, and dietary and lifestyle factors.”