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Childhood type 1 diabetes diagnosis time could be ‘reduced’

By Editor
19th March 2018
Type 1 diabetes

The diagnosis of up to one third of children with type 1 diabetes could be speeded up by two weeks, a study has suggested.

Opportunities including improved access to primary care and public awareness of the condition could “reduce time to diagnosis for up to one third of cases, by up to two weeks”, the research concluded.

The epidemiology of type 1 diabetes suggests diagnostic delays may contribute to children developing diabetic ketoacidosis at diagnosis.

In response, the study carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and University of Washington delved into primary care records to explore opportunities for earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children outside of hospital.

They collected the data through a matched case-control study of children presenting to primary care in the UK, examining routinely collected primary care consultation types and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) warning signs in the 13 weeks before diagnosis.

Discussing the results, the researchers said: “Our primary analysis included 1,920 new T1DM cases and 7,680 controls. In the week prior to diagnosis more cases than controls had medical record entries (663, 34.5 per cent vs 1014, 13.6 per cent, odds ratio 3.46, 95 per cent CI 3.07–3.89; p < 0.0001) and the incidence rate of face-to-face consultations was higher in cases (mean 0.32 vs 0.11, incidence rate ratio 2.90, 2.61–3.21; p < 0.0001). The preceding week entries were found in 330 cases and 943 controls (17.2 per cent vs 12.3 per cent, OR 1.49, 1.3–1.7, p < 0.0001), but face-to-face consultations were no different (IRR 1.08 (0.9–1.29, p = 0.42)).”

They concluded: “There may be opportunities to reduce time to diagnosis for up to one third of cases, by up to two weeks. Diagnostic opportunities might be maximised by measures that improve access to primary care, and public awareness of T1DM [type 1 diabetes].”

To access the study’ Opportunities for earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children: A case-control study using routinely collected primary care records’, click here.

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