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Children with type 2 diabetes to be given sensors to replace finger-prick testing

Hundreds of children who manage their type 2 diabetes by regularly pricking their finger can now monitor their glucose levels using automated sensors, the government’s expert health advisers have announced.

Doctors and nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been advised they can now give glucose monitoring devices to children with type 2 diabetes who currently use the more intrusive finger-prick testing methods, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said on Thursday.

The health minister Helen Whately said that offering children the devices would relieve a burden and “empower them to manage their condition more easily”.

She said: “Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children, many of whom face the constant stress of needing to monitor their blood glucose levels by finger-prick testing – often multiple times a day – just to stay healthy and avoid complications.”

The NICE committee that reached the decision heard that children found finger pricking to check their glucose levels several times a day “burdensome”, “tiring” and “stressful”.

The devices, which give a continuous stream of real-time information on a smartphone, have already been recommended for children with type 1 diabetes, a less aggressive form of the disease.

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Source: The Guardian, 11 May 2023


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