Undiagnosed diabetes may not be as big of a public health problem as thought.
That’s the takeaway from a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine that says that some previous efforts have likely overestimated the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes because they relied on a single positive test result.
By contrast, this new measure used the American Diabetes Association’s diagnostic criteria, which recommend that people with one positive fasting blood glucose or A1C test should have a second test to confirm a diagnosis in all but the most severe and obvious cases of Type 2 diabetes. That’s because there’s some inherent variability in the tests and because blood sugar levels fluctuate naturally because of exercise, illness and even the time of day.
If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes can contribute to kidney disease, nerve damage, high blood pressure and stroke.