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Screening Tests for Young Adults (Ages 19-29)

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Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

Diabetes

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and is becoming more common at younger ages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 25.6 million people age 20 and older, or 11.3% of all people in this age group, have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes among adults. Unhealthy weight and physical inactivity, both contributing factors, have also become national health problems.

It is estimated that 79 million American adults aged 20 years or older have pre-diabetes, meaning that their blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Detecting pre-diabetes allows individuals take steps to stop or slow the development of type 2 diabetes and its complications. These include heart attack, stroke, hypertension, blindness and eye problems, kidney disease, and nervous system maladies. More than 60% of lower limb amputations occur in diabetics.

Risk Factors
Being overweight – having a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 25 kg/m2) – is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Other risk factors related to your own health include:

Family-related risk factors are:

  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Being of African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander descent

Women's risk factors include:

Recommendations
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following:

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) also recommends diabetes screening for asymptomatic people with these risk factors, as well as those on antipsychotic therapy for schizophrenia or who have severe bipolar disease.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) identifies just one risk factor, high blood pressure, and sets a lower threshold for type 2 diabetes screening at 135/80 mm Hg.

As public health experts work to educate Americans on what to do to avoid this disease and its serious complications, be aware that healthy eating habits and activity choices can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and of suffering complications from the disease.


Links
NIDDK: Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
American Diabetes Association


Sources Used in Current Review

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011. PDF available for download at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf through http://www.cdc.gov. Published 2011. Accessed August 24, 2012.

American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2012. Diabetes Care. Available online at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/Supplement_1/S11.full.pdf+html through http://care.diabetesjournals.org. Published January 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for Developing a Diabetes Mellitus Comprehensive Care Plan. PDF available for download at https://www.aace.com/files/dm-guidelines-ccp.pdf through https://www.aace.com. Published March/April 2011. Accessed September 7, 2012.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Adults. Available online at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsdiab.htm#summary through http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Published June 2008. Accessed September 7, 2012.

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