As people age, they often become less active. This is considered a leading cause of the development of Type 2 diabetes. That is why a US task force has recommended that every American over the age of 45 should be screened for both Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Dr. Michael Pignone, a member of the US Preventative Services Task Force said, “For people with abnormal blood sugar, changes in their lifestyle, such as eating healthier and exercising more often, can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
“The best way to do that is to participate in a program that supports these behaviours. That’s why we’re recommending that people who are at increased risk be screened.”
The recommendation develops the task force’s comments in 2008, when it suggested that only those at increased risk of heart disease should be screened.
The new recommendation was endorsed by endocrinologist Dr. Spyros Mezitis, who explained that the epidemic levels in the United States of obesity, the leading cause of Type 2 diabetes, necessitates such a measure.
The last 15 years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Americans with Type 2 diabetes. The increase corresponds with the nation’s obesity epidemic.
Research indicates that diagnosing prediabetes significantly reduces a person’s chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, as long as they adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Although the recommendation focuses on diabetes in the United States, obesity and inactivity is also an issue in the UK. However, for anyone concerned about the risks they face, there are options. The NHS Health Check programme screens for common long-term health problems, including diabetes. Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 who has not already been diagnosed will be invited for a check and offered advice to help manage the risks they face.
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