Diabetes: Progress and Problems

Diabetes increased as screening and diagnosis improved

(RxWiki News) There's good news and bad news about diabetes in the United States, according to a new study.

The good news is that improved screening and diagnosis appears to have reduced the number of missed cases of diabetes. The bad news is that the number of diabetes cases has continued to increase in recent decades.

These researchers pointed out that diabetes is a manageable condition when it is diagnosed and treated. But when it's left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications, such as heart and kidney disease.

The study authors noted that catching more cases and identifying the groups of people who are most likely to have undiagnosed diabetes is likely to improve public health.

"Understanding the proportion of diabetes cases that are actually undiagnosed, and who those patient groups are, is really critical to allocation of public health resources," said lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Selvin, of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a press release. "Our results suggest that targeted screening in these populations and increasing health coverage could help make sure that persons who have diabetes receive a diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment that they need."

Over the 26-year study period, the number of diabetes cases among the more than 24,000 study participants increased from 5.5 to 10.8 percent. During that time, these researchers found that the number of missed cases of diabetes dropped from 16.3 to 10.9 percent.

If you are concerned about your diabetes risk, speak with your health care provider.

This study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded this research. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
October 24, 2017