Screening, the process whereby patients are tested for diabetes, even if their complaint is for another ailment, could be the key to revealing the estimated millions of people who live with undiagnosed diabetes.
New research has displayed that screening patients when they attend an Accident and Emergency ward in a UK hospital leads to the uncovering of diabetes in unknowing patients.
The screening, carried out in the emergency department of St. Mary’s hospital, London, revealed that almost 3% of over-40 patients being treated for non-diabetes related ailments actually were type 2 diabetics. Doctors involved in the study highlighted the fact that there was potential to diagnose 500 patients every year in this way.
The importance of the study rests in the nature of type 2. When caught at an early stage, it is usually possible for the disease to be treated by taking more exercise and eating a healthier diet. If the disease is left untreated, the eventual result can be the necessity to live under an insulin regimen.
The study also revealed people who could be at risk from diabetes further down the line. This condition, sometimes known as pre-diabetes, occurs when a patients’ blood glucose levels are too high.
Screening may therefore be seen to be useful in beginning to tackle the estimated 3 million people in the UK who have diabetes but do not know about it.

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