THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Undiagnosed diabetes may be less of a problem than previously thought, according to a study published online July 11 in Diabetes Care.

Michael Fang, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues used data from 30,492 adults (aged 20 years and older) participating in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988 to 2020) to assess trends in undiagnosed diabetes.

The researchers found that from 1988-1994 to 2017 to March 2020, there was an increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes (from 4.6 to 11.7 percent), but there was no change in either the prevalence of persistent undiagnosed diabetes (from 2.23 to 2.53 percent) or confirmed undiagnosed diabetes (from 1.10 to 1.23 percent). The proportion of all undiagnosed diabetes cases declined from 32.8 to 17.8 percent (persistent undiagnosed diabetes) and from 19.3 to 9.5 percent for confirmed undiagnosed diabetes. Older and obese adults, racial/ethnic minorities, and those without health care access had a higher prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes. Asian Americans and those without health care access had the highest proportion of undiagnosed cases among persons with diabetes (range: 23 percent to 61 percent).

“The populations with undiagnosed diabetes may be more difficult to reach,” Fang said in a statement. “Screening interventions targeting these groups may be needed.”

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