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Which children should be screened for diabetes?

We are not recommending screening children for prediabetes because we don't have enough evidence that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in children at high risk for the disease. However, a study published in the March 14, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found 25 percent of very obese children and 21 percent of very obese adolescents had prediabetes. If future studies show that early intervention also works for children, a recommendation could be forthcoming.

There are several instances in which children should be screened for diabetes. With the incidence of childhood obesity on the rise, children who have an elevated body mass index (BMI) should be screened. Those who are in the overweight category and have a family history of diabetes should be screened. Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) is more sporadic, but some sources recommend if there is a family history of type I diabetes, those children should be screened. In addition, any child with excessive urination, thirst and weight loss should be screened.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.