Opticians 'urged to offer blood sugar tests'
Health insurance policy holders may be interested to hear that opticians are being urged to introduce blood sugar checks for their patients.
According to experts, eye examinations provide a perfect opportunity for the identification of undiagnosed cases of diabetes.
A finger-prick blood test would help healthcare providers spot hundreds of thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from Durham University conducted a pilot study in the north of England and found one in every 100 people screened tested positive for the condition.
Dr Jenny Howse, who led the research, said: "In the UK, our initial results show screening for diabetes in opticians is a feasible option but we now need to look at the practicalities of delivering it, including liaison between opticians and GPs and the time costs for opticians."
She also referred to successful screening programmes in the US, Australia and Switzerland at pharmacies, dental practices and chiropodists.
Recently, Graham Cox, professional services manager for Ultralase, noted that regular eye checkups can prevent vision problems from becoming debilitating.