• Article

Screening for diabetes in an African-American community: The project DIRECT experience

Aim: To report the results of a community-based screening program associated with Project DIRECT, a multiyear diabetes mellitus prevention and control project targeting African-American residents of southeast Raleigh, NC. Methods: Between December 1996 and June 1999, 183 screening events took place in community settings. Screening was by capillary glucose concentration. Participants with a positive screen were referred for confirmatory testing and physician follow-up. Main Results: Risk factors for diabetes were prevalent, including ethnic minority race (88.2%), obesity (45.6%), and family history of diabetes (41.7%). In all, 197 persons had an elevated screening result; the prevalence of diabetes in the screened population that underwent follow-up testing was 1.7%. Despite persistent tracking efforts, 28% of the persons with a high screening test received no final diagnosis. Conclusions: In this community-based screening program targeted to high-risk African Americans, risk factors for diabetes were common, but new cases of undiagnosed diabetes among participants were uncommon. Intensive follow-up for persons with high screening values is necessary but difficult to achieve. Our results support national recommendations against community-based screening; opportunistic screening for diabetes in clinical settings is likely a more effective use of resources


Porterfield, D., Din, R., Burroughs, A., Burrus, B., Petteway, R., Treiber, L., ... Engelgau, M. (2004). Screening for diabetes in an African-American community: The project DIRECT experience. Journal of the National Medical Association, 96(10), 1325-1331.