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November 1, 2021updated 08 Apr 2022 2:24pm

Scotland introduces new blood test for type 1 diabetes patients

Regular testing of C-peptide levels helps doctors work out how much insulin a diabetes patient's body is producing.

The government has introduced a new blood test for type 1 diabetes patients in Scotland that would improve the accuracy of diagnosis.

Offered at hospital diabetes centres, the C-peptide blood test allows some people to reduce or completely stop taking their insulin injections.

Scotland is claimed to be the first country to offer this blood test to patients who have had a type 1 diagnosis for at least three years.

According to the Scottish Government, approximately 315,000 people in the country are currently living with diabetes.

Scotland Public Health minister Maree Todd said: “Diabetes is a clinical priority for this government and we want to ensure that everyone living with diabetes in Scotland can access safe, effective and person-centred healthcare, treatment and support.

“Type 1 diabetes is a significant health challenge right across the world. I am proud that Scotland will be the first country to introduce this blood test, which has the potential to have a significant positive impact on the lives of those people living with diabetes.”

A significant level of C-peptide in a person’s body indicates that the individual does not have type 1 diabetes and there is a possibility to stop or reduce their insulin treatment.

Regular C-peptide testing helps doctors to know how much insulin a diabetes patient’s body is producing itself.

The launch of this simple blood test for type 1 diabetes follows a two-year pilot study, which was conducted in National Health Service (NHS) Lothian and led by diabetes and endocrinology consultant professor Mark Strachan.

Strachan said: “C-peptide helps diabetes specialists make a more accurate diagnosis of the cause of diabetes, and that means we can get people on the most appropriate treatment.

“In some instances, C-peptide testing allowed people to stop very long-standing insulin therapy; this can be life-transforming.”

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