A randomized controlled trial in two general practices in Cambridgeshire compared the effect of loss and gain framed messages in an invitation to screening for type 2 diabetes on uptake and subsequent anxiety and self-rated health. High risk individuals aged 40-69 years were randomized to receive loss (n = 57) or gain (n = 59) framed screening invitations. A postal questionnaire was sent to all participants, including non-attenders, after six weeks. There were no significant differences in attendance, mean state anxiety, self-rated health or illness representation between the loss and gain frame arms. Framing of information in diabetes screening invitations does not influence uptake.