Friday, 2 April 2010

Diabetes screening should begin at age 30

Diabetes screening should begin at age 30

Results of a recently released study suggest that it is cost-effective to screen every patient for diabetes beginning at age 30, instead of at age 45 for high-risk patients, which is currently the norm.

"Everybody should get screened for diabetes on a regular basis between 30 and 45 years, and repeat the screen every three to five years," said Richard Kahn, who was with the American Diabetes Association at the time of the study, quoted by Health Day News.

"Screening is cost-effective," he added. "It's a bargain in the world of medicine to screen and get someone into effective treatment."

In the study, lead author John Buse and his colleagues employed a detailed mathematical model known as Archimedes and simulated a diverse population of Americans. The simulated population, who had varying health behaviors and medical issues, underwent nine screening strategies in sequence, repeated in six months intervals for 50 years, or until death.

The researchers found that all screening strategies beginning at age 30 effectively reduced mortality rates, heart attacks and other diabetes-related complications in a cost-effective manner. In fact, when screening began between ages 30 and 45, the average cost per quality-adjusted year of life was $10,500, compared to $15,509 when screening began at age 45.

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