Evaluation of the Diabetes Screening Component of a National Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Programme in England: a Retrospective Cohort Study

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is increasing but the effectiveness of large-scale diabetes screening programmes is debated. We assessed associations between coverage of a national cardiovascular and diabetes risk assessment programme in England (NHS Health Check) and detection and management of incident cases of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (NDH) and T2D. Retrospective analysis employing propensity score covariate adjustment method of prospectively collected data of 348,987 individuals aged 40–74 years and registered with 455 general practices in England (January 2009-May 2016). We examined differences in diagnosis of NDH and T2D, and changes in blood glucose levels and cardiovascular risk score between individuals registered with general practices with different levels (tertiles) of programme coverage. Over the study period 7,126 cases of NDH and 12,171 cases of T2D were detected. Compared with low coverage practices, incidence rate of detection in medium and high coverage practices were 15% and 19% higher for NDH and 10% and 9% higher for T2D, respectively. Individuals with NDH in high coverage practices had 0.2 mmol/L lower mean fasting plasma glucose and 0.9% lower cardiovascular risk score at follow-up. General practices actively participating in the programme had higher detection of NDH and T2D and improved management of blood glucose and cardiovascular risk factors.