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Minerva Stomatol. 2012 Nov-Dec;61(11-12):467-76.

Screening for the undiagnosed diabetes at dental chair-side of an Italian university clinic. A pilot prospective study.

[Article in English, Italian]

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Department of Medical Odontoiatric Surgery, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.



In Italy there is about one undiagnosed case of diabetes for each known case. The dental office might represent an important setting for screening the glycemic status of patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of dental chair-side capillary blood sampling for the identification of undiagnosed hyperglycemia in a group of Italian patients.


Five hundred fifteen patients >45 years old consecutively visiting a public university dental clinic, where admission is regulated by medical or income criteria, were considered for the study. Demographic data, medical history, time of the last caloric intake and waist width were recorded for each participant. All participants underwent an oral examination. Glycemic values were obtained by capillary blood glucose testing.


Of the 400 subjects who took part in the study, a low percentage of unaware diabetic individuals (1.7%) was identified. Inclusion criteria restriction to subjects between 50 and 75 years of age and a waist circumference >92 cm would have resulted in a proportion of diabetic patients of 4.3%.


Dental chair-side in a public university clinic in Italy failed to disclose the expected number of unaware diabetic patients.

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