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Children to be screened for diabetes risk in UK early detection trial

Scientists are launching a trial screening programme for type 1 diabetes in the UK to detect the disease earlier and reduce the risk of life-changing complications.

About 20,000 children aged between 3 and 13 are being invited to take part in the Early Surveillance for Autoimmune Diabetes (Elsa) study, with recruitment opening on Monday.

The aim is to assess children’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes at the earliest stage possible to ensure a quick and safe diagnosis, and reduce the number being diagnosed when they are already seriously ill.

Parth Narendran, a professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Birmingham, said: “As general population screening programmes for type 1 diabetes emerge around the world, we need to explore how best to screen children here in the UK.”

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, the director of research at Diabetes UK, which is co-funding the study with the not-for-profit organisation JDRF, said: “Identifying children at high risk of type 1 diabetes could put them and their families on the front foot, helping ensure a safe and soft landing into an eventual diagnosis, avoiding DKA and reducing the risk of life-altering complications.”

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Source: The Guardian, 14 November 2022


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