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J Sch Nurs. 2010 Aug;26(4):301-9. doi: 10.1177/1059840510366021. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Noninvasive screening for risk factors of type 2 diabetes in young, rural, caucasian children.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA.


School nurses play an important role in identifying students who are at risk for Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Few studies have screened Caucasian students, and none have targeted rural, low-income, elementary children. The five noninvasive risk factors used for this study were family history, high body mass index (BMI) for age/sex, racial/ethnic background, hypertension, and acanthosis nigricans. Two thirds of those screened (n = 299) had at least one of the five risk factors for T2DM. Seventeen students (5.6% of those screened) had three or more of the five risk factors and were considered at risk for T2DM. Fifteen percent (n = 43) had hypertension or prehypertension, and 18% (n = 53) were morbidly obese. Hypertension and acanthosis nigricans were significantly associated with being at risk in morbidly obese students. School nurses play an important role as frontline health professionals who are aware that risk factors for T2DM exist in all schools, regardless of students' age, size of community, or ethnic background.

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