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New two-stage screening test developed for diabetes



By Christian Duffin

UK researchers have devised a two-stage screening process involving simple clinical assessments followed by non-fasting blood markers to highlight whether a patient is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Recordings are made and points given for indicators such as age, sex, BMI, smoking, family history, waist circumference, hypertension and diagnosed coronary heart disease.

The researchers created the screening process after a regressive analysis of 7,000 non-diabetic patients aged 60-79 tracked for seven years.

The highest-scoring total had a sensitivity and specificity of 50.3% and 81.4% respectively. Addition of fasting blood markers HDL cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose improved prediction to a sensitivity of 63.8% and a specificity of 82.0%.

Study leader Professor Goya Wannamethee, a professor of epidemiology at University College London, said: ‘Our approach represents an easy and possibly cost effective way of identifying older adults at high risk in clinical settings. We have transformed our models into a points score which could be used in general practice.’

Diabet Med 28, 23-30 (2011)

The screen can use non-fasting blood markers