Researchers at Durham University and The James Cook University Hospital, both in the UK, have demonstrated that a simple finger prick test during routine eye examinations can help to identify previously undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

A pilot study suggested earlier diagnosis can set people for better management of the disease and ultimately result in cost-savings for the NHS.

In the study, which involved five high-street optometry practices, optical assistants conducted a simple finger prick test, called a random capillary blood glucose test, to assess the blood glucose levels.

It is found that out of 1,000 people visiting their opticians for an eye test who were found to have one or more risk factors of diabetes, such as increased body mass index or aged over 40, almost 32% were referred to their GP for further investigation after having their blood glucose levels checked.

Professor Jenny Howse of Durham University School of Medicine and Health said in the UK, the initial results show that screening for diabetes in opticians is a feasible option, but they now need to look at the practicalities of delivering it.