TopicsGrowth & DevelopmentResearch digest: screening in obese children

Research digest: screening in obese children

Most children diagnosed with obesity in the US aren’t being screened properly, says a study that analysed data on 156,773 children aged 10 to 18 years with obesity.

The data was taken from two insurance claim databases, dated 2018-2019. The findings suggest that some children do not receive laboratory screening tests recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and liver disease, while many receive potentially unnecessary thyroid and insulin testing.   

The researchers said that while undertesting can result in missing co-occurring conditions and delay interventions that could improve outcomes, overtesting can also cause unnecessary harm, with patients and families worried about potential conditions they don’t have – and there’s also the added costs of extra tests.

They suggest that specific guidelines and interventions are needed to prevent both overuse and underuse of screening tests for children with obesity.

Jama Network Open

Image credit | Shutterstock


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