An asymptomatic adult should be screened for diabetes if certain conditions are met. A fasting plasma or serum glucose level can detect impaired glucose handling.

Criteria for screening the asymptomatic adult:

(1) obesity (body mass index or BMI >= 25 kg per square meter) AND one or more risk factors (see below)

(2) age >= 45 years of age


Risk factors for diabetes include:

(1) physically inactive

(2) first degree relatives with diabetes mellitus

(3) racial background (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander)

(4) woman with a history of gestational diabetes

(5) woman giving birth to a baby that weight more than 9 pounds (4.09 kilograms)

(6) woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

(7) hypertension (blood pressure >= 140/90 mm Hg or current treatment for hypertension)

(8) serum HDL cholesterol < 35 mg/dL (0.9 mmol/L)

(9) serum triglyceride level > 250 mg/dL (2.82 mmol/L)

(10) previous testing showing an impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance

(11) clinical findings associated with insulin resistance

(12) history of cardiovascular disease


Screening of the asymptomatic adult should be done:

(1) every 3 years in the absence of risk factors

(2) more often depending on the type and number of risk factors

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