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Getting Screened: What Does it Mean?

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it. And more than 84 million American adults have prediabetes, but 90% of them don’t know they have it. Why aren’t more people getting tested?

glucose test

One reason is that prediabetes and type 2 diabetes often don’t have any symptoms (compared with type 1 diabetes symptoms, which can develop quickly and can be severe). That’s why people with any risk factors are urged to visit their doctor to get screened (getting tested when they don’t have any symptoms). Catching prediabetes early can help people prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, and finding out they have type 2 diabetes—and taking appropriate action—can help people prevent or delay serious health complications.

Getting tested is simple and quick. Your blood will be drawn at your doctor’s office or at a clinic so your blood sugar can be tested. Results are usually available quickly.

Screening is also available at some walk-in labs for a small fee. A word of caution: walk-in screenings often aren’t accurate because people haven’t fasted (not eaten) 8 to 10 hours before the test. Make sure you know how to prepare ahead of time.

Did You Know?

People covered by Medicare can get up to two free screenings a year if they have certain risk factors for diabetes, such as high blood pressure or obesity.

Find Out More

CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation
Getting Tested for Diabetes & Prediabetes
Diabetes Basics
The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes
Diabetes Features & Spotlights
CDC Diabetes on Facebook
@CDCDiabetes on Twitter

  • Page last reviewed: January 26, 2018
  • Page last updated: January 26, 2018
  • Content source:
  • Maintained By:
    • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation
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