News

Roll-out of new diabetes test

Published: 30 Oct 2021 00:01

World-leading test to improve diagnosis.

A simple blood test for people with Type 1 diabetes enabling some patients to stop taking insulin will be rolled out.

Scotland is the first country in the world to introduce this test which will be available from hospital diabetes centres from 1 November.

Aimed to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, the routine testing of C-peptide allows doctors to work out how much insulin someone with diabetes is making themselves.

If C-peptide is present in significant amounts, then it may indicate that the person does not have Type 1 diabetes and that it may be possible to stop or reduce insulin treatment.

The roll-out follows a two year pilot study in NHS Lothian led by Diabetes and Endocrinology Consultant Professor Mark Strachan.

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.”

Professor Mark 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.

“If anyone has any concerns regarding their diabetes or wishes to know more about the new blood test, they should contact their diabetes clinical team who are best placed to provide specific advice and support based on their individual circumstances.”

Background

There are approximately 315,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland.

The programme will be offered to people with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes of at least three years duration. C-peptide testing will be offered by hospital diabetes centres.