Health officials in the UK are considering whether the entire population should undergo screening for diabetes.
The UK National Screening Committee (NSC), which advises ministers on which diseases the NHS should screen for – either among the whole population or in specific at-risk groups, rejected screening for diabetes when it was last reviewed in July 2006.
After considering whether the benefits of screening outweigh the harms, the committee said that whole population screening for undiagnosed diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance did not meet all the criteria to merit a new programme.
But in 2007 it approved vascular risk screening in adults over the age of 40, a move which led to the launch of the NHS Health Check programme that includes assessing patients’ risk of type 2 diabetes .
And it now appears that it is strongly considering making a u-turn on diabetes screening after revealing that it currently examining the feasibility of such a programme.
It said a recent review found that the case for undiagnosed diabetes screening was “becoming stronger because of greater options for the reduction of cardiovascular disease and because of the rising prevalence of obesity, and hence type 2 diabetes”.
A decision by the NSC is due to be made in the autumn.

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