Regular Diabetes Screenings Should Start Early

Computer model suggests most cost-effective strategy is to begin between ages 30 to 45
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, initiation of screening for type 2 diabetes between ages 30 and 45, with repeat screenings every three to five years, is cost effective, according to a study published online March 30 in The Lancet.

Richard Kahn, Ph.D., of the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, Va., and colleagues used a representative population sample to create a simulated population of 325,000 people aged 30 years without diabetes, and used the computerized Archimedes Model to compare eight simulated screening strategies for type 2 diabetes with a no-screening control strategy.

Compared with no screening, the researchers found that all eight screening strategies reduced the incidence of heart attacks and diabetes-related microvascular complications, while increasing the number of quality-adjusted life-years. They also found that five of the strategies were associated with a cost per quality-adjusted life-year of no more than $10,500, and concluded that initiation of screening at 30 to 45 years of age provided the most benefit.

"[This] paper provides further evidence that screening for diabetes should be combined with screening for hypertension and lipid tests," states the author of an accompanying comment. "This recommendation is also in line with the current guideline for screening from the American Diabetes Association. Further input into the model of information on screen-detected people with type 2 diabetes, and separate analyses of different populations or health care systems, might strengthen the role of the Archimedes model to provide further useful information for future guidelines about screening for diabetes."

Funding for the study was provided by Novo Nordisk, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer.

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