Can Dentists Help ID Undiagnosed Diabetes Patients?

Can Dentists Help ID Undiagnosed Diabetes Patients?
Can Dentists Help ID Undiagnosed Diabetes Patients?

(HealthDay News) — The dentist's office may be a good place to screen people for diabetes, according to new research published online February 25 in the American Journal of Public Health.

The New York University study of 408 dental patients found that blood collected from the mouth during dental procedures was 99% as accurate for hemoglobin A1c testing as finger-prick blood samples.

While diabetes screening at dental visits can help all people at risk for the disease, those aged 45 and older would likely get the greatest benefit, the researchers said in a New York University news release.

"In light of findings from the study, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct diabetes screening among at-risk, undiagnosed patients – an important first step in identifying those who need further testing to determine their diabetes status," principal investigator Shiela Strauss, PhD, said in the news release. She is an associate professor of nursing and co-director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for New York University's Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry.

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