Diabetes screening should now start at 35 for people who are overweight, national panel recommends

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued draft recommendations March 16 to lower the starting age for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening from age 40 to 35.

The recommendations apply to those with a body mass index between 25 and 30, meaning a person is overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 or higher, who are considered obese, according to the CDC. Screening should continue through age 70, the draft guidelines say. 

"We know the rates of prediabetes and diabetes are increasing in people who are younger," Chien-Wen Tseng, MD, task force member and family medicine professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, told NBC News. "Our main reason for dropping the age is to match the screening with where the problem is: If diabetes and prediabetes are occurring at a young age, then we should be screening at a younger age." 

If finalized, the panel's updated recommendation would require most private insurers to offer the screening tests free of charge, The Wall Street Journal reported March 16. 

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