Will Prediabetes Screening Be Beneficial? Pros vs. Cons

Currently, personalized medical technology has made it easier to learn about your health and how your body is performing without needing to see a doctor. These innovations are the focus of the debate on the effectiveness of screening tests to assess your risk of prediabetes. This article examines this debate and the potential need for diabetes screening.

Are You at Risk of Having Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association, American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated to produce a free online screening test to predict whether you are at higher risk for prediabetes based on seven questions.

The online test assess:
● Age (1-3 points)
● Gestational diabetes (1 point)
● Sex (1 point)
● Blood pressure (1 point)
● Family history (1 point)
● Weight (1-3 points)
● Physical activity (1 point)

A score of 5 or higher is seen as high risk. The website recommends that high-risk individuals should see their doctor and request a blood test for diabetes. Prediabetes happens when your blood sugar level is higher than usual but not so high that it qualifies as type 2 diabetes.

A sugar tolerance test is a more accurate measurement method than elevated blood sugar levels. In this case, an individual eats a specific dose of sugar in the lab, after which their blood sugar levels are tested to see how long it takes to return to normal.

Epidemic by Numbers

However, in the absence of sugar tolerance, increased blood sugar levels alone are not a clear predictor of either a future of type 2 diabetes or the necessity to intervene with drugs or a kale diet to prevent it. This gets more complicated when you realize that the definition of prediabetes is not set in stone.

The World Health Organization does not use “prediabetes” but defines “impaired fasting hyperglycemia” as having a fasting blood sugar level of 110 mg/dL. The ADA agreed with this until it lowered that number to 100 mg/dL in 2003.

This change in the ADA’s prediabetic definition increased the number of people described as
prediabetic by millions overnight.


Dr. Saeid Shahraz said it’s reasonable for patients and doctors to start assessing their risk given the vast number of people with complications. However, this decision has been controversial, and Dr. Rita Redberg suggests reducing the risk of weight loss through a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.

The final decision rests with your doctor, who can examine you and decide if a screening test is necessary.