Type 2 Diabetes: Screening for Adults
Talk with your doctor about what is putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes and how often you need to be tested.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends testing for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight or obese and are ages 40 to 70. This testing should be part of a heart attack and stroke risk screening.footnote 2
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening every 3 years for diabetes or prediabetes—which may lead to type 2 diabetes—if you:footnote 1
- Are age 45 or older. During a routine office visit, ask your doctor if testing is appropriate.
- Are a woman with a history of gestational diabetes.
- Are overweight—your body mass index (BMI) is 25 or greater (in Asian Americans, a BMI 23 or greater)—and you have one or more other things that put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. These include:
- Blood pressure that is 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher, which means the top number is 140 or higher or the bottom number is 90 or higher, or both. Screening may also be recommended if you take medicine to control your blood pressure, even if it's lower than 140/90 now.
- Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or high triglyceride or both.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get little or no exercise.
People who have prediabetes need to be tested for diabetes every year.
- American Diabetes Association (2019). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2019. Diabetes Care, 42(Suppl 1): S1–S193. Accessed December 17, 2018.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2015). Screening for abnormal blood glucose and type 2 diabetes mellitus: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/screening-for-abnormal-blood-glucose-and-type-2-diabetes. Accessed November 11, 2015.
Current as of: April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology