Researchers have developed software which could potentially identify over 600,000 people who are undiagnosed or at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
The research, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that simple software can highlight people whose higher blood glucose levels have not been followed up.
The software was developed by Dr Tim Holt from the University of Warwick, and found that out of a sample of 3.6 million anonymous records, 33,000 had "borderline" results which would normally require a re-test, and 3,700 whose results suggested strongly they had undiagnosed diabetes.
Earlier diagnosis better
Diabetes UK Chief Executive Douglas Smallwood said: “Diabetes UK has been calling for many years for active programmes to identify people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. If rolled out nationally, this research could potentially identify over half a million people who are undiagnosed or at increased risk of developing the condition.
"Diabetes is a serious condition which can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations, heart and kidney disease.
"The earlier people are diagnosed, the earlier they can get on with managing the condition and reduce their risk of developing complications.
"Identifying people at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes is also a massive step forward. In many cases, leading a healthy lifestyle and managing weight can prevent or delay onset of the condition, so targeting these people is vital."