Diabetes II To Be Tested At Your Local Opticians?
Type II diabetes screenings could be performed at high street opticians, dentists and chiropodists in the form of a simple finger prick test.
Experts suggest this could help reduce the number of undiagnosed cases in the UK by finding potential carriers who do not regularly visit their GP surgery.
An estimated 3.4 million people in Britain suffer from Type II diabetes but about one quarter of those cases go undiagnosed and some are only detected when serious symptoms develop, it was reported in The Telegraph.
Researchers from Durham University tested the blood glucose levels of 1,000 people who were visiting their optician and had one or more risk factors for diabetes, such as a high body mass index or an age above 40.
Of those tested, almost 32% were found to be at risk from the disease and referred to their family doctor, according to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice.
Dr Jenny Howse, who led the research, said: "Charities' campaigns have managed to reduce the proportion of people with undiagnosed diabetes but there is still a 'hard-to-reach' group who remain undiagnosed.
"Opticians could provide routine, non-emergency care and the simple screening can be done outside usual medical settings, such as GP surgeries."
Howse added that those who are diagnosed with diabetes II earlier have a better chance of getting the right treatment.
This could also cut NHS costs by reducing the number of people affected by blindness and other conditions caused by diabetes.
In The Telegraph’s report, Simon O’Neill, Director of Care and Advocacy at leading health charity Diabetes UK warned that finger prick tests alone can be misleading: “Blood glucose levels can vary in all individuals during any given day and these tests also do not factor in other risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes, such as having a large waist or a family history of the condition.
"However a commitment to find news ways to ensure early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is always positive. We recommend that anyone with one or more risk factors should visit their GP to discuss their risk of Type 2 diabetes and whether it is necessary for them to have a blood test.”