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Individuals who seek treatment for periodontal disease may be good candidates for blood tests for diabetes. There is a known correlation between the two conditions, and new research suggests that blood samples taken from the mouth may accurately detect the presence of diabetes.
For the study, researchers from New York University took blood test samples from the mouths and fingertips of individuals seeking treatment for periodontal disease. Fingertips are generally the standard location from which to draw samples.
The results showed that samples drawn from pockets of inflammation in the mouth were as accurate at diagnosing diabetes as ones taken from the fingers.
Given the high number of people with undiagnosed diabetes, the researchers said their findings could be useful in identifying those who may benefit from treatment. This may help improve the health of those suffering from the condition without knowing.
"In light of these findings, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct an initial diabetes screening - an important first step in identifying those patients who need further testing to determine their diabetes status," said Dr. Shiela Strauss, who led the study.
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