The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
is characterized by high blood glucose levels that are not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The condition often progresses to
type 2 diabetes.
In order to detect prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following guidelines:
Screen adults of any age who are overweight or
with one or more of these risk factors:
First-degree relative with diabetes
Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (good) cholesterol level and
High blood pressure
History of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
or having a baby weighing over nine pounds (4.1 kg)
polycystic ovary syndrome
or other conditions associated with insulin resistance
Being inactiveHistory of cardiovascular diseaseBelonging to an at-risk ethnic group (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander)Previous blood test results that show HbA1c levels at 5.7% or higher, impaired glucose tolerance, and impaired fasting glucoseScreen adults aged 45 and older with or without risk factors
Screen overweight children aged 10 years and older who have 2 or more of the following risk factors:
Family history of diabetesMother with diabetes or gestational diabetesSigns of insulin resistance or having a condition associated with insulin resistanceAt-risk ethnic background
If the results are normal for both adults and children, the ADA recommends screening again in 3 years.
The HbA1c test is a good indicator of your average blood glucose levels over the past 2-4 months. This test usually does not require any dietary restrictions.
|Diabetes||6.5% or higher|
With this blood test, you need to fast (not eat anything) for at least 8 hours before the test.
|Diagnosis||Fasting Plasma Glucose Level|
|Prediabetes||100-125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L)|
|Diabetes||126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher|
After fasting overnight, the doctor tests your glucose level. You are then asked to drink 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. Two hours later, the doctor tests your glucose level again.
|Prediabetes||140-199 mg/dL (7.8-11 mmol/L)|
|Diabetes||200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher|
Glucose tests. Lab Tests Online—American Association for Clinical Chemstry website. Available at:
https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/glucose/tab/glance. Updated December 15, 2015. Accessed August 23, 2016.
Statistics about diabetes. American Diabetes Association
website. Available at:
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics. Updated April 1, 2016. Accessed August 23, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Kim A. Carmichael, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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