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Prediabetes too often missed in children June 27, 2008

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Erica Cline at 706/828-2225.

Prediabetes too often missed in children

Obese children, who are at increased risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, may not be getting the most appropriate test to screen for these conditions, a new Canadian study found. Results were presented Sunday, June 15, at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The standard screening test for high blood sugar in children with risk factors—a blood test called the fasting plasma (or blood) glucose test—identified nearly 3 times fewer the children with prediabetes than did a longer blood test, said the study's lead author.

Katherine Morrison, MD, from the pediatrics department of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, said the more accurate test was the glucose stress test, also called the oral glucose tolerance test. This test takes longer because the patient has blood drawn after fasting and again 2 hours after drinking a sugary solution.

University Hospital Diabetes Service's is working to help those children who have been diagnosed with diabetes through its annual Camp Juliet.

Camp Juliet offers children diagnosed with diabetes a chance to get the full summer camp experience, while offering them a safe and secure atmosphere that includes on-staff physicians and nurses as well as other members of the community who volunteer their time for this worthwhile effort. Even the teenage camp counselors have a history with this 21-year-old annual event -- many of them started out as campers themselves!

The camp, which was started by University Diabetes Services and is supported through University Health Care Foundation, gives children ages 7-16 a chance to enjoy a normal summer camp experience, which they would not be able to have as insulin-dependent children are barred from attending regular camp.

This year, University Health Care System's annual Camp Juliet runs June 19-22. This is the camp's 21st anniversary.

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