Decades-long trial proves swift treatment slashes diabetes deaths, but how do we spot it earlier?

More than four decades of research by the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) has found controlling blood glucose early, with insulin and drugs, led to 10% fewer deaths long-term. It also significantly reduced the risk of related conditions such as heart attacks, vision loss and kidney failure.

The findings, released this week, come on the heels of a separate Government report issued earlier this year that revealed 1 million Brits are likely to have undiagnosed diabetes and at least 5.1 million of us are prediabetic. Many of those affected will be young, of average weight and entirely without symptoms. That’s why taking a simple blood test is essential, says a leading expert.

The UKPDS trial examining early treatment of type 2 diabetes began back in 1977 and is one of the longest-such trials ever to have been staged. Scientists involved in the trial say the findings are ‘remarkable’ and prove the vital importance of early diagnosis.

However, the results have led one expert to voice concern about the number of people who may not be receiving this vital early treatment. Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘The Government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that an estimated 1 million adults have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Alarmingly, 50% of cases in people under 44 are likely to be undiagnosed.

‘Although millions of Brits are already being treated for type 2 diabetes, the ONS says around 30% of people who have “full-blown” type 2 diabetes aren’t even aware of it. The figures are even worse for prediabetics – people on the threshold of developing “full-blown” diabetes. Prediabetes affects around 1 in 9 Brits, says the ONS, which equates to approximately 5.1 million adults.

‘It’s astonishing to think that both diabetes and prediabetes can be identified by a simple finger-prick blood test, yet 30% of diabetics and, potentially, millions of prediabetics remain undiagnosed. That’s why London Medical Laboratory has launched our “Give the finger to diabetes” campaign, to identify undiagnosed cases of diabetes and prediabetes with a finger-prick blood test. Increased testing is vital to establish who is among this at-risk population.

‘London Medical Laboratory’s finger-prick HbA1c “Diabetes – Diagnosis and Monitoring” test is considered the gold standard in regular testing. It can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores.

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About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4427 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.