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Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Adults - Topic Overview

If you are age 45 or older, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you get tested for diabetes every 3 years.1 The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends diabetes testing for people who have blood pressure higher than 135/80.2 Talk with your doctor about what is putting you at risk and how often you need to be tested.

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The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for prediabetes—which may lead to type 2 diabetes—if you:1

  • Are overweight and are age 45 or older. Get checked for prediabetes during your next routine office visit.
  • Are at a healthy weight and are age 45 or older. During a routine office visit, ask your doctor if testing is appropriate.
  • Are younger than 45 and overweight—your body mass index (BMI) is 25 or greater—and you have one or more other things that put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. These include:
    • High blood pressure, over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), or you take medicine to control high blood pressure.
    • Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and high triglyceride.
    • A family history of type 2 diabetes. People who have a parent, brother, or sister with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes have a greater risk of getting the disease than adults who do not have a family history of the disease.
    • A history of gestational diabetes or having a baby weighing more than 9 lb (4 kg). Women who have had gestational diabetes or who have had a large baby are at greater-than-average risk for getting type 2 diabetes later in life.
    • Risk due to race or ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at greater risk than whites for getting type 2 diabetes.
    • A history of heart disease.
    • A history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
    • A history of higher-than-normal blood sugar.
  • Are overweight and get little or no exercise and want to help reduce your risk for getting type 2 diabetes.

For more information, see the topic Type 2 Diabetes.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 20, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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