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AMA News Room

Oct. 7, 2014

AMA Applauds U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Steps to Improve Diabetes Screening and Help Detect Patients with Prediabetes

For immediate release:
Oct. 7, 2014

Statement attributed to:
Robert M. Wah, MD
President, American Medical Association

"The AMA commends the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for amending its recommendations on screening for diabetes based on its review of current best evidence. The AMA fully supports the new Task Force recommendation that screening for diabetes and prediabetes should be performed in all adults over age 45, and that uniform coverage for these critical screenings is long overdue.

"More than 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet nearly 90 percent don't know they have it. Individuals with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Research shows that there are effective lifestyle change programs including proven diabetes prevention programs that can help patients with prediabetes avoid the onset of type 2 diabetes and its associated poor health outcomes.

"For the first time, the USPSTF is recognizing value in screening for prediabetes; consequently, millions more patients at risk could ultimately be identified and helped by diabetes prevention programs recognized by the CDC through its National Diabetes Prevention Program.

"In particular, we are pleased that the Task Force is now recommending the use of hemoglobin A1c testing as a primary method for screening at-risk individuals, since this test provides a rapid and accurate means of testing for both prediabetes and diabetes.

"The AMA is fully committed, as part of our improving health outcomes initiative, to preventing the incidence of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two of the nation's leading causes of suffering and death. In order to do this, we believe new innovative approaches are required. By focusing on the holistic care of patients, and strengthening the linkages between the clinical care setting and communities through novel strategies and collaborations, we can achieve a healthier nation."

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Media Contact:
Kelly Jakubek
AMA Media & Editorial
(312) 464-4443

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