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Health charity warns use of finger prick test can be misleading

The national charity Diabetes UK has responded to a recent study that recommended the use of finger prick blood glucose tests during optician and dental visits as a way of getting an early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The charity has warned that these tests can often be misleading, and say that those people who have one or more diabetes risk factors should consult their doctor first.
The study, by scientists at Durham University, had carried out research into more than 1,000 people using five optometry practices in the north of England and who were given the finger prick test, with 323 of them being found to be at risk of type 2 diabetes and recommended to visit their GP for more tests.
However, Diabetes UK have said they are worried that such testing could not provide all the information needed and misses out on other relevant factors. Simon O’Neill, director of care and advocacy at the health charity, commented “Finger prick tests on their own 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.”
He added “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.”

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