Dentists could be Screening for Type 2 Diabetes

Thu, 01 Sep 2011
Around 3.4 million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes. However, about a quarter of these cases remain undiagnosed, with some of them being detected only when serious symptoms develop.

Type 2 diabetes is the most frequent kind of diabetes and can lead to blindness, amputation and nerve damage.

Earlier diagnosis can enable patients to more effectively manage their condition.

GPS usually carry out type 2 diabetes screening. However, experts state simple finger prick tests can be undertaken by high street opticians, chiropodists and dentists. This could be a great help to undiagnosed diabetics who do not regularly visit their GP.

Durham University researchers tested the blood glucose levels of 1,000 people who were on visits to their optician and had one or more risk factors for diabetes, like a high body mass index or being aged above 40.

Nearly a third of them were referred to their family GP as they may be at risk from the disease.

It is imperative that the proportion of individuals with undiagnosed diabetes is still a 'hard-to-reach' group who are still undiagnosed.

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