WASHINGTON, DC – As YMCAs across the country prepare to celebrate Healthy Kids Day on April 25th, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) today urged parents who may be seeing symptoms of diabetes in their children to ask their doctor if a diagnostic blood test for early detection of diabetes is appropriate.
“According to JDRF, each year more than fifteen thousand kids are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) by a simple blood test that reveals a very complicated disease,” said Alan Mertz. “The A1C is a standard and widely performed test that provides information about a child’s average level of blood glucose and is considered the primary test used for diabetes research and management. This is a powerful diagnostic tool for a disease that can kill if left undiagnosed and parents should check with their physician to determine if the test is warranted.”
JDRF also notes that approximately 15 percent of people living with T1D diabetes are children and the rate of T1D incidence among children under 14 years of age is expected to increase annually by three percent worldwide. T1D in both children and adults accounts for $14.9 billion in U.S. health care costs each year.
“Clinical laboratory diagnostic services are an invaluable tool in addressing diseases that affect the health of children worldwide,” said Mertz. “Medical advancements are helping children with T1D grow into adulthood and effectively manage their disease. Identifying the symptoms and getting the diagnostic test are the first steps to ensuring a child with T1D can live a normal, healthy life.”
As diabetes advances, both children and adults with T1D can experience excessive thirst, weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue. In addition to T1D, the A1C test enables health care providers to detect and treat diabetes before complications occur and to determine and treat prediabetes, which can delay or prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes, another form of the disease becoming increasingly prevalent in both adults and children.
For more information on Healthy Kids Day, visit http://www.ymca.net/healthy-kids-day and follow #HealthyKidsDay on Twitter. More on symptoms of T1D can be found on JDRF’s website, http://jdrf.org/life-with-t1d/type-1-diabetes-information/symptoms-warning-signs/.