Diabetes Screenings Could Lower Medical Costs

Nearly one-quarter of adults screened for diabetes ended up having the full-blown disease or its precursor, allowing doctors to begin treatment sooner. This suggests that routine diabetes screening could result in significant cost savings for the U.S. health-care system, researchers at Atlanta's Emory University concluded from a new study.

Prof. Lawrence S. Philips and his colleagues screened 1,259 adults who hadn't been diagnosed with diabetes, reported United Press International. Twenty-four percent of study participants ended up having diabetes or prediabetes, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that don't meet the criteria of the full-blown disease.

Participants found to have either condition were treated with the anti-diabetic drug metformin or ordered to make lifestyle changes designed to control blood sugar. The cost of these remedies was found to be lower than the costs "associated with not screening," UPI reported.

Study results were presented at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in New Orleans.

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