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Research underway to detect diabetes in children before it develops

Posted at 4:30 AM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 08:42:54-05

AURORA, Colo. -- It's a medical breakthrough happening right here in Colorado, and parents can now find out if their children are more prone to getting Type 1 diabetes. 

Researchers at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes are screening thousands of children using blood samples. They're looking for autoantibodies associated with Type 1 diabetes. It's a way to determine if your child will develop the disease in the future.

"It just suggests that they are an increased risk for developing diabetes over the next five to 10 years," said Dr. Cristy Geno Rasmussen, the program manager for the Autoimmunity Screening for Kids (ASK).

ASK can detect childhood diabetes and Celiac disease. If autoantibodies are detected, the risk of developing diabetes increases by 50 percent. 

"For children in Colorado who are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, 92 percent of children have no family history or first-degree relative," Geno said. 

Researchers plan to screen 70,000 children in the Denver metro area. The goal is to make this screening universal, eventually being part of a simple wellness check with a doctor.

There will be two screening locations happening on Tuesday at these locations:

  • Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes on the Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Tivoli Station on the Auraria campus

Screenings are free of charge, and only children ages 2 to 17 can get screened.

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