Recent Study Shows Standard Blood Test Not as Effective for Diagnosing Diabetes in Children

Doctors are increasingly using a convenient blood glucose test for diagnosing diabetes and pre-diabetes in children however, a study performed by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital shows that this standard blood tests is not the best way to diagnose diabetes in children. The hemoglobin A1c test has become the preferred way to diagnose diabetes yet not many doctors use it.

U-M Study

U-M researchers say more study is needed before doctors can safely rely on using hemoglobin A1c for children. "We found that hemoglobin A1c is not as reliable a test for identifying children with diabetes and pre-diabetes compared with adults," says study lead author Joyce M. Lee, M.D.,M.P.H., a pediatric endocrinologist at Mott Children's Hospital. "Using this test in children may lead to missed cases." The study was published online ahead of print in Journal of Pediatrics.

Study Evaluation

For the study, Mott researchers evaluated the testing results of 1,156 obese and overweight adolescents, ages 12-18. The ADA recommends screening only obese and overweight kids because their weight puts them at higher risk for developing diabetes.

Conclusion

"Based on the study findings, a fasting blood glucose test should still be used for diagnosing diabetes in children," says Lee, a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit in the U-M Division of General Pediatrics.

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