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Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105(4):796-801. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302357. Epub 2015 Feb 25.

The potential for glycemic control monitoring and screening for diabetes at dental visits using oral blood.

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At the time of this study, Shiela M. Strauss, Mary T. Rosedale, and Navjot Kaur were with the College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY. Michael A. Pesce was with the Columbia University Medical Center, New York. David M. Rindskopf was with the Graduate School and University Center of the City of New York. Caroline M. Juterbock, Dolores Malaspina, and Ann Danoff were with the NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University. Mark S. Wolff was with the College of Dentistry, New York University.



We examined the potential for glycemic control monitoring and screening for diabetes in a dental setting among adults (n = 408) with or at risk for diabetes.


In 2013 and 2014, we performed hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) tests on dried blood samples of gingival crevicular blood and compared these with paired "gold-standard" HbA1c tests with dried finger-stick blood samples in New York City dental clinic patients. We examined differences in sociodemographics and diabetes-related risk and health care characteristics for 3 groups of at-risk patients.


About half of the study sample had elevated HbA1c values in the combined prediabetes and diabetes ranges, with approximately one fourth of those in the diabetes range. With a correlation of 0.991 between gingival crevicular and finger-stick blood HbA1c, measures of concurrence between the tests were extremely high for both elevated HbA1c and diabetes-range HbA1c levels. Persons already diagnosed with diabetes and undiagnosed persons aged 45 years or older could especially benefit from HbA1c testing at dental visits.


Gingival crevicular blood collected at the dental visit can be used to screen for diabetes and monitor glycemic control for many at-risk patients.

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