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Routine blood test may identify people with pre-diabetes, cutting later treatment costs
Date:1/6/2011

INDIANAPOLIS A simpler form of testing individuals with risk factors for diabetes could improve diabetes prevention efforts by substantially increasing the number of individuals who complete testing and learn whether or not they are likely to develop diabetes.

Approximately 60 million Americans, one-third of the adult population, are pre-diabetic. Thirty percent of these individuals will develop Type 2 diabetes in less than a decade, yet most don't know they are at high risk for the disease.

A study published in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that the hemoglobin A1c test, a common blood test that can be quickly administered in a physician's office, accurately and easily identifies pre-diabetics.

The A1c test measures average blood glucose level over the past 8 to 12 weeks and does not require a person to return for additional testing after an overnight fast. Researchers, led by Ronald T. Ackermann, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist, report that the A1c blood test, which has been routinely administered to diabetic patients for many years, can also pinpoint pre-diabetes.

"Identifying more individuals with pre-diabetes through a simple test in a physician's office gives us a real opportunity to halt progression to the disease, which is clearly a win-win situation," said Dr. Ackermann.

"If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, or multiple other risk factors such as obesity, are over the age of 45, had a past episode of diabetes during pregnancy, or have a family history of the disease, your physician can administer a simple blood test which will show if you are pre-diabetic. If you are pre-diabetic, loosing as little as 10 to 15 pounds through diet and exercise can cut in half your chances of getting diabetes, greatly improving your health and
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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