Hospitals first to roll out diabetes diagnosis trial
MT DRUITT and Blacktown hospitals will be the first in Australia to roll out a test that diagnoses if a patient is diabetic.
The routine tests are carried out for patients who present to the emergency department and follow a sixweek trial at Blacktown Hospital, which resulted in a 32 per cent jump in the number of known people with the disease. The number of people with pre-diabetes rose by 27 per cent.
Doctor Glen Maberly said unlike regular blood tests, the screening shows haemoglobin levels over a couple of months to give a more accurate reading of whether a patient has type 2 diabetes or is at risk of developing the disease.
Patients who test positive for diabetes are sent a letter and their GP is informed.
Nola Roche, 40, was unaware she had type 2 diabetes despite a family history of the disease, until she undertook the test.
“I think the routine testing is a good idea; I would never have found out I had type 2 diabetes otherwise,” she said.
Western Sydney Local Health District executive Danny O’Connor said the process would help relieve the strain on the health system.
“In Western Sydney 15 per cent of people are likely to have diabetes and have not been diagnosed, while more than half the region’s population is overweight and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” Mr O’Connor said.
The Western Sydney Local Health District is working with the State Government to liaise with schools and councils to create better urban environments conducive to more activity.
It is also working to improve management of diabetes, so once a diagnosis is made it does not reach crisis point. One of these measures includes monitoring blood glucose throughout the day and keep readings on target.
Dr Maberly said diabetes could be prevented and controlled.