Doctors follow guidelines from experts to decide when to test adults for type 2 diabetes. Talk with your doctor about your risk for type 2 diabetes and how often you need to be tested.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends testing for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight or obese and are age 35 to 70.1
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for diabetes or prediabetes at least every 3 years for:2
- Everyone starting at age 35. Ask your doctor at your next routine office visit if you need to be tested.
- People with a history of gestational diabetes.
- Adults of any age who are overweight and have one or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Overweight means having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater (or a BMI of 23 or greater in Asian Americans). Things that increase your risk for type 2 diabetes include:
- Blood pressure that is 140/90 or higher (top number is 140 or higher, bottom number is 90 or higher, or both). You may need to be tested if you take medicine to control your blood pressure, even if it's lower than 140/90 now.
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol or high triglyceride or both.
- A family history of type 2 diabetes. Your risk of diabetes is increased if a parent or sibling has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander.
- A history of heart disease.
- A history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- A history of higher-than-normal blood sugar.
- Getting little or no exercise.
People who have prediabetes need to be tested for diabetes every year.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2021). Screening for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 326(8): 736–743. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2021.12531. Accessed September 21, 2021.
- American Diabetes Association (2022). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2022. Diabetes Care, 45(Suppl 1): S1–S259. Accessed January 3, 2022.
Current as of: April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology
David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology