Dental practices identify over eight per cent of patients with undiagnosed diabetes in new study

17 November 2020
2 min read

Out of 1,143 patients, 97 patients more than eight per cent were identified with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. The study found that using a FINDRISC (FINnish Diabetes Risk Score) questionnaire completed by each patient alone detected undiagnosed hyperglycemia with 87 per cent accuracy.

The findings of the pioneering DiabetRisk study of 1,143 adult patients at 41 dental practices across Spain concluded that a simple screening protocol combining a FINDRISC questionnaire and HbA1c glucose test identified 96 per cent of patients with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes during a dental visit. Commissioned by the SEPA Research Network of Dental Clinics from the ETEP Research Group at Complutense University of Madrid and sponsored by multinational oral healthcare company, Sunstar, the results of the three-year study have just been released at the SEPA (Spanish Society of Periodontology) Platinum Symposium.  

The FINDRISC questionnaire evaluated risk factors such as age, consumption of fruit and vegetables, physical exercise, family history of diabetes mellitus and also received a basic periodontal examination. Adding a HbA1c glucose test to the questionnaire results increased the diagnosis accuracy to 96 per cent. The study has also corroborated the link that patients with the worst cases of periodontal disease are more likely to have pre-diabetes or diabetes. If one suffers from both conditions at the same time, there is an increased risk of developing complications from diabetes earlier, since gum problems are inflammatory diseases that increase general inflammation in the body. In turn, this increases insulin resistance and leads to poorer blood sugar.

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