Aims: Screening for Type 2 diabetes has been recommended in several countries due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes. This review evaluates whether Type 2 diabetes is a disease that fulfils the criteria for screening set by the World Health Organization. Methods: Literature search was performed on the literature bases MedLine, Pub Medical, NIDDK, Cochrane Library and CINAHL using the MeSH terms 'non-insulin-dependent-diabetes-mellitus' and mass screening. Using this strategy we identified studies specifically evaluating screening strategies and diagnostic tests for Type 2 diabetes. The evaluation of psychosocial consequences included studies related to other chronic diseases. This literature was used to evaluate whether the WHO criteria for screening were fulfilled. Results: The papers were reviewed but a meta-analysis was not possible, as no randomized controlled clinical trials were performed in the area of screening. Conclusion: Type 2 diabetes does not fulfil the criteria for population-based mass screening. No screening and intervention studies have been performed, systematically evaluating the positive and negative effects of screening. Furthermore, intervention studies up until now have been restricted to clinically diagnosed patients with diabetes, and most of these have recruited patients with long diabetes duration and early complications. These groups will have a worse prognosis and thus probably show greater benefits of such intervention. Finally, the psychosocial and health economic consequences of screening and intervention for Type 2 diabetes are largely unknown. Thus, systematic screening and intervention trials should be encouraged, and meanwhile intensified case finding and opportunistic screening in high-risk groups should be performed.