November/December 2021 Issue
Editor’s Spot: Diabetes Screening Update
By Judith Riddle
Vol. 23, No. 9, P. 6
If you’re a dietitian who specializes in diabetes care and education, you’ve probably heard that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its 2015 guidelines in August for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening in adults to encourage earlier detection and implementation of dietary and lifestyle interventions.
The USPSTF recommends screening for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults aged 35 to 70 who have overweight or obesity vs screening adults aged 40 to 70, as specified in its 2015 guidelines. The new guidelines are based on a comprehensive systematic review of the benefits and risks of earlier screening for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and initiating preventive interventions in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adults at an earlier age. The data suggest the incidence of diabetes increases at age 35 compared with younger ages and that there’s evidence showing the benefits of preventive lifestyle interventions in people with prediabetes and those with newly diagnosed diabetes (ie, reducing mortality and CVD).
Conversely, the American Diabetes Association recommends universal screening for prediabetes and diabetes for all adults aged 45 and older regardless of risk factors, and screening adults who have overweight or obesity with one or more risk factors regardless of age. Similarly, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology recommends universal screening for prediabetes and diabetes for all adults aged 45 and older regardless of risk factors, and screening individuals with risk factors for diabetes regardless of age.
Because these screening guidelines differ among these organizations, you may be wondering which you should follow. Considering that 88 million American adults have prediabetes and don’t know it and that certain demographic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and other people of color, often develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes at younger ages than their white counterparts, it may be wise for dietitians to consider following the updated recommendations from the USPSTF and refer patients to their physicians so they can take advantage of effective preventive interventions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, sooner than later.
Learning about these new guidelines and other developments in diabetes research is imperative for RDs specializing in diabetes care and education, as more and more are expanding their roles and responsibilities in a variety of health care settings.
In this issue, Today’s Dietitian explores the changes taking place within the diabetes care and education specialty and speaks with RDs about their increasing roles and how they’re embracing them in the article “Expanded Roles in Diabetes Care” on page 30.
Please enjoy the issue!
— Judith Riddle, Editor