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Undiagnosed Diabetes Accounts for Small Portion of Diabetes

Last Updated: October 25, 2017.

Undiagnosed diabetes accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total diabetes population in the United States, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Undiagnosed diabetes accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total diabetes population in the United States, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Elizabeth Selvin, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to provide national estimates of undiagnosed diabetes by using a confirmatory testing strategy in accordance with clinical practice guidelines. They used data on adults aged 20 years and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that the prevalence of total diabetes increased from 5.5 to 10.8 percent between 1988-1994 and 2011-2014. During the past two decades there was an increase in confirmed undiagnosed diabetes (from 0.89 percent in 1988-1994 to 1.2 percent in 2011-2014), but there was a decrease over time in undiagnosed diabetes as a proportion of total diabetes cases; in 1988-1994, 16.3 percent of total cases were undiagnosed, compared with 10.9 percent in 2011-2014. Overweight or obese adults, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities (including Asian Americans), and individuals lacking health insurance or access to health care more often had undiagnosed diabetes.

"Establishing the burden of undiagnosed diabetes is critical to monitoring public health efforts related to screening and diagnosis," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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