Diabetes Care

 Considerations in Epidemiologic Definitions of Undiagnosed Diabetes

Accurately quantifying undiagnosed type 2 diabetes is an important challenge for conducting diabetes surveillance and identifying the potential missed opportunities for preventing complications. However, there has been little focused attention on how undiagnosed diabetes is defined in epidemiologic surveys and how limitations in methods used to ascertain undiagnosed diabetes may impact our understanding of the magnitude of this important public health problem. This Perspective highlights weaknesses in how undiagnosed diabetes is quantified in epidemiologic research and the biases and caveats that should be considered when using estimates of undiagnosed diabetes to influence public health policy.