Heel-prick blood test could predict which children will develop type 1 diabetes, say scientists who can spot early warnings of the condition in the genes and chemicals in the body

A heel-prick blood test could predict which children will develop Type 1 diabetes, scientists say.

UK and US researchers said up to 75 per cent of cases of the disease could be diagnosed by scouring the blood for biomarkers of the condition.

The average child is in their mid-teens by the time they are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, by which time four in 10 will have developed dangerous symptoms.

Heel-prick tests are already used in Britain to check for nine rare but serious conditions, including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, who did the study, are pushing for diabetes to be included on the list of conditions.

They are currently testing their test in clinical trials at hospitals in Washington.

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