HealthDay News — After 10 years of follow-up, type 2 diabetes screening is not associated with improved mortality rates, results of a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) review suggest.

“Screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus could lead to earlier identification and treatment of asymptomatic diabetes, impaired fasting glucose (IFG), or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), potentially resulting in improved outcomes,” emphasized Shelley Selph, MD, MPH, of Pacific Northwest Evidence-Based Practice Center and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues.

To update the 2008 USPSTF review on diabetes screening in adults, the investigators conducted a systematic literature review using data from Cochrane databases and MEDLINE and relevant studies from previous task force reviews.

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Screening for diabetes correlated with no 10-year mortality benefit versus no screening in two trials. Based on 16 trials, there was consistent evidence that treatment of IFG or IGT correlated with delayed progression to diabetes. Most trials of IFG or IGT treatment found no effects on all-cause or cardiovascular mortality, but in one trial, lifestyle modification correlated with reduced risk for both outcomes after 23 years.

In one trial there was no effect of an intensive multifactorial intervention on risk for all-cause or cardiovascular mortality versus standard control for screen-detected diabetes. Nine systematic reviews showed that intensive glucose control did not reduce the risk for all-cause or cardiovascular mortality in diabetes that was not specifically screen-detected, and intensive blood pressure control results were inconsistent.

“More evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of treatments for screen-detected diabetes,” concluded the scientists.


  1. Selph S et al. Ann Intern Med. 2015; doi: doi:10.7326/M14-2221