Document Detail

The effect of varying the screening interval on false positives and duration of undiagnosed disease in a screening programme for type 2 diabetes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11002449     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to quantify the proportion of people diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes by standard 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, in a hypothetical screening programme, who would actually be false positives (false positive percentage), and the effect on the false positive percentage of varying the time between repeat screens. We also calculated the duration in person years of exposure to undiagnosed disease in the population for each screening interval. SETTING: Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK. METHODS: We used the glucose tolerance data from 965 participants of the Ely Diabetes Project, who were tested 4.5 years apart, to calculate the population's between and within person variance for 2 hour plasma glucose, and constructed a probability matrix of observed v true glucose tolerance categories. The progression of the population between glucose tolerance categories was modelled assuming exponential times to progression. RESULTS: After one year, 47.5% of test positives were disease free: almost half of those labelled with diabetes would not have the disease. For a 5 year interval, the false positive percentage was 27.6%, but the population would have been exposed to undiagnosed diabetes for 144 person years. CONCLUSIONS: Screening can be associated with both benefit and harm; the balance is dependent on characteristics of the disease and the screening programme. This study has quantified the trade off between exposure to undiagnosed diabetes and false positive results to inform the debate about screening for type 2 diabetes.
P J Park; S J Griffin; S W Duffy; N J Wareham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical screening     Volume:  7     ISSN:  0969-1413     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Screen     Publication Date:  2000  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-18     Completed Date:  2001-01-18     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9433359     Medline TA:  J Med Screen     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  91-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Primary Care and Public Health, University of Cambridge, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Blood Glucose / metabolism
Cohort Studies
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*,  epidemiology,  physiopathology
Disease Progression
False Positive Reactions
Glucose Intolerance / diagnosis*,  epidemiology
Glucose Tolerance Test
Mass Screening*
Models, Statistical
Reference Values
Reproducibility of Results
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Blood Glucose

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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