Software helps diagnosing diabetic patients earlier

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Researchers have developed software which could potentially identify over 600,000 people who are undiagnosed or at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The software can highlight people whose higher blood glucose levels have not been followed up.

The research is published in the British Journal of General Practice.

The computer software developed by Dr Tim Holt, from the University of Warwick, and colleagues at Nottingham University, looked for patients who had undergone a blood test more than a year ago, and shown some hint of raised blood sugar levels, but who had not been seen by their doctor with diabetes in mind.

The software found that out of a sample of 3.6 million anonymous records, 33,000 had “borderline” results which would normally require a re-test, and 3,700 whose results suggested strongly they had undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetes UK Chief Executive Douglas Smallwood said: “Diabetes UK has been calling for many years for active programmes to identify people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. If rolled out nationally, this research could potentially identify over half a million people who are undiagnosed or at increased risk of developing the condition. Diabetes is a serious condition which can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations, heart and kidney disease. The earlier people are diagnosed, the earlier they can get on with managing the condition and reduce their risk of developing complications. Identifying people at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes is also a massive step forward. In many cases, leading a healthy lifestyle and managing weight can prevent or delay onset of the condition, so targeting these people is vital.”

Source: Diabetes UK, UK

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