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Periodontal Blood Samples to measure HbA1c

Hemoglobin bA1c (HbA1c), normally measured through blood chemistry tests, is widely used to detect diabetes in which a reading of 6.5 or more indicates a value in the diabetes range according to the American Diabetes Association guidelines. In the recent study conducted by the New York University (NYU) nursing-dental research team, however, states that HbA1c blood glucose can also be measured from oral blood samples drawn from deep pockets of periodontal inflammation.

The study looked into the significant correlation of HbA1c levels with paired samples of oral and finger-stick blood taken from 75 patients with periodontal disease at the NYU College of Dentistry.

The one-year investigation used a version of HbA1c testing kit that was primarily formed specifically to enable dentists and dental hygienists to collect finger-stick blood samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis.

Dr. Shiela Strauss, the study’s lead investigator and associate professor of nursing and co-director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for NYU’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry, explained that dental visit could serve a more relevant purpose as it can be an opportunity to conduct an initial diabetes screening, “an important first step in identifying those patients who need further testing to determine their diabetes status.”

She added that increased opportunities for diabetes screening and early diabetes detection are necessary, particularly now that the issue of undiagnosed diabetes is critical.

The research is part of a series of NYU nursing-dental studies examining the feasibility of screening for diabetes and other physical illnesses in the dental setting.

Co-investigators on the study included Ms. Janet Tuthill, clinical assistant professor of dental hygiene at NYU College of Dentistry; Dr. David Rindskopf, professor of educational psychology at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York; Dr. Jack A. Maggiore, president of Healthy Life Laboratories; Dr. Robert S. Schoor, clinical associate professor of periodontology and implant dentistry at the NYU College of Dentistry; Dr. Stefanie Russell, clinical assistant professor of epidemiology and health promotion at the NYU College of Dentistry; and Dr. Mary Rosedale, assistant professor of nursing at the NYU College of Nursing.

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