A simple finger prick test during a routine eye examination at opticians could help identify millions of people with previously undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, according to a new research.

The Durham University study suggests that screening for the condition in unconventional settings, such as opticians, chiropodists or dentists, could find those people who would not routinely visit their GP, and could have potential worldwide.

The study found that out of 1,000 people visiting their opticians for an eye test who were found to have one or more risk factors of diabetes, such as increased body mass index or aged over 40, almost 32 per cent were referred to their GP for further investigation after having their blood glucose levels checked.

"Charities' campaigns have managed to reduce the proportion of people with undiagnosed diabetes but there is still a 'hard-to-reach' group who remain undiagnosed," said lead author and former optician, Dr Jenny Howse from Durham University's School of Medicine and Health.

"Opticians could provide routine, non-emergency care and the simple screening can be done outside usual medical settings, such as GP surgeries."

"The screening test is less invasive and time consuming than fasting blood glucose and oral glucose tolerance tests," she added.

The study has been published in the British Journal of General Practice .

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