Hos­pi­tals first to roll out di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis trial

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Joanne Vella

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.

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