All adults aged 40 and above should have a risk assessment for type 2 diabetes, according to the healthcare watchdog.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has also recommended that people aged 25 and above of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Black African descent, who are at a higher risk, should also perform a test.
People can be assessed at their GP surgery or community pharmacy but they can also perform self assessments online.
Nice said the new recommendations will help to identify people at high risk so they can be offered advice to help them prevent or delay the condition.
If someone is identified as high risk they should contact their GP for a blood test to confirm the level of risk, the new Nice guidelines suggest.
Nice also recommends that people who are identified as high risk should be given an "evidence-based, intensive lifestyle-change programme" to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
– Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK
As a diabetes nurse, I have seen first-hand how the condition can affect a person's life.
"People may not be aware that diabetes is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
"This guidance focuses on risk assessment and providing those at high risk with evidence-based, effective interventions that can delay or prevent this condition."
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin for it to function properly, or when the body's cells do not use insulin properly.
Diabetes currently affects almost three million people in the UK, of which about 90% will have type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes?
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body for it to function properly, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin. This is called insulin resistance.
- Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce any insulin at all. Around 90% of all adults in the UK with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
- If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to control your symptoms simply by eating a healthy diet and monitoring your blood glucose level.
- However, as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, you may eventually need to take insulin medication, usually in the form of tablets.