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November 28, 2022

250,000 middle-aged adults are unaware they have type 2 diabetes

A new study estimates that approximately 250,000 middle-aged adults are unaware they have type 2 diabetes.

Researchers are urging persons aged 40 to 70 to be checked for the condition since early discovery can significantly lower a person's risk of diabetes complications.

Only high-risk individuals are presently provided a blood test to check for type 2 diabetes as part of the NHS health check, but if every adult was offered the test, undiscovered cases of the disease may be found two years sooner.

Researchers led by Dr. Katie Young of the University of Exeter sought to explore if the blood test would speed up diagnosis if it were used frequently in the NHS check, often known as a mid-life MoT.

They looked at data from participants who signed up for the UK Biobank research and had their HbA1c levels tested.

This was then connected to GP records to determine if individuals had previously been diagnosed with diabetes.

Just over seven percent (7.3%) of individuals who took the test had already been diagnosed with the disease.

Undiagnosed diabetes affected around 1% of the 167,000 patients who did not have a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The study's participants were tracked for ten years.

According to the researchers, there are approximately 25 million adults in the UK aged 40 to 70 who have not been diagnosed with diabetes.

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