Should we all be tested for diabetes on a regular basis?

by Mark Benson on July 14, 2013

Should we all be tested for diabetes on a regular basis?

Should we all be tested for diabetes on a regular basis?

As it begins to dawn on many people, and many governments around the world, that diabetes is set to be one of the biggest killers in years to come, the subject of diabetes testing is very much in the limelight. Many experts have been calling on regular diabetes testing for everyone and while there are obvious cost considerations and other issues to take into consideration, is now the time to reconsider mandatory testing?

There are a number of issues to take into account which we will cover below as a means of setting out arguments for and against regular testing of everybody.

Cost considerations

There is no doubt that regular testing of everybody would be relatively expensive compared to the amount of funding available for testing at risk categories of the population today. However, if for example every dollar spent today testing someone for diabetes could save hundreds of dollars in the future, would this be worthwhile?

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that obese fathers have changes to microRNAs that increase the risks for daughters to be overweight/obese, and both sons and daughters to have diabetes-like diseases.”

The test for diabetes is relatively simple and on the whole relatively straightforward. It is becoming blatantly obvious that health authorities around the world will struggle to cope with not only the immediate after-effects of diabetes but also the side-effects such as strokes, heart attacks, etc. It may well take a significant investment in diabetes testing today to avoid any major increase in treatment costs in the future.

Millions are suffering in silence

The World Health Organisation has commented on numerous occasions about the tens of millions of people suffering from diabetes in ignorance. These are perhaps the people we should be focusing upon initially because the potential medical complications and possible fatalities connected with this group of people are frightening to say the least. It is estimated that around 50 million people have already developed diabetes but they are totally unaware of the situation.

Researchers and doctors have on numerous occasions attempted to highlight those “most at risk” from diabetes but this is not an infallible science. It may well be cost-effective to focus funding on those seen to be more at risk but the likelihood is that millions of people will be missed.

Social and financial implications

While the loss of a loved one is something many of us cannot even contemplate, can you imagine losing a loved one to a medical condition which was treatable but went undetected. The social and financial implications for families across the world are potentially enormous and often ignored or discounted by politicians. While we have seen a number of supermarkets and other such retail outlets joining the fight against diabetes, offering in-store testing, how can we encourage more people to make use of these services?

We can bury our heads in the sand but the fact is that diabetes is set to become potentially the third largest killer in years to come. It is something which needs to be tackled today, something which will have a devastating effect on not only the global economy but family life and family finances.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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