GPs back diabetes tests for children

GPs have supported calls for south Asian children to be screened for diabetes risk in primary care and given protective lifestyle advice.

Last month, researchers showed that changes in type-2 diabetes precursors were apparent in south Asian children before the age of 10, including HbA1c, fasting insulin, triglyceride and CRP.

They suggested at-risk children should be targeted for physical activity and nutritional advice.

Bradford GP Dr Shahid Ali, director of the research and development unit at Bradford South and West PCT, said this was essential to stem the rise in type-2 diabetes among children and teenagers in Bradford.

'The only way I can see of addressing this is to intervene earlier so we can prevent the onset of diabetes and subsequent complications,' he said.

'There needs to be a cultural change in the way service providers work to do this with a greater emphasis on self care and responsibility for patients.'

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, a GP and professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester, said research showed it was challenging, but useful to involve secondary schools in schemes to promote healthy lifestyles.

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