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Study backs routine liver function test in diabetes patients

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Routine blood tests can help identify type 2 diabetes patients at increased risk of advanced chronic liver disease, according to research presented today at a major conference.

A study analysed liver blood tests from 922 patients over four years. It found those with abnormal tests for liver function and structure were significantly more likely to develop chronic liver disease than those with normal readings.

The charity Diabetes UK said it was known people with type 2 diabetes were at increased risk of advanced chronic liver disease. However, it noted there was currently no consensus on the best way to identify these people but the new study showed routine blood liver tests could help find those at risk.

The results were due to be presented today at Diabetes UK’s professional conference in Liverpool.

Lead researcher Dr Joanne Morling, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “The study highlights the need for clinicians to use liver tests and checks to help identify people with type 2 diabetes at increased risk of the condition.

“Currently, people with type 2 diabetes have regular liver blood test checks, but there is no guidance for managing people found to have abnormal readings, which means they may only be diagnosed once they are seriously ill,” she said.

“The results of this study are really promising and potentially could have huge benefits to the lives of people with type 2 diabetes as advanced chronic liver disease is a very serious condition,” she added.

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