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Early Diabetes Screening Found Cost-Effective

March 31, 2010 By: Nadia Category: Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News

Medtipster Source:  JournalWatch – www.jwatch.org

What Age Is Best to Start Screening for Diabetes Among Asymptomatic Patients?

It’s best to start screening for type 2 diabetes before middle age and to repeat screening every few years, according to a Lancet study appearing online.

Using a mathematical model, researchers first simulated a U.S. population of 325,000 nondiabetic 30-year-olds. Then they tested several screening strategies on each cohort member, measuring cost-effectiveness against a control strategy of not testing at all until diabetes symptoms or cardiovascular disease developed.

Active screening strategies ranged from starting at age 60 and then repeating every 3 years to the maximal strategy of starting at 30 with repeats every 6 months.

The best strategy — starting between 30 and 45 with repeats every 3 to 5 years — was the most cost-effective and enabled a diagnosis of diabetes some 6 years earlier than just waiting for symptoms to develop. That strategy would prevent seven myocardial infarctions and add 171 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) per 1000 people screened over a 50-year span.

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