Scotland has become the world’s first country to introduce a simple blood test for Type 1 diabetes patients, enabling them to stop taking insulin by improving the accuracy of diagnosis.

The routine C-peptide test, introduced today (November 1), will allow doctors to know how much insulin someone with diabetes is making themselves.

The roll-out of test follows a two-year pilot study in NHS Lothian led by diabetes and endocrinology consultant Professor Mark Strachan.

Strachan said: “C-peptide helps diabetes specialists make a more accurate diagnosis of the cause of diabetes, and that means we can get people on the most appropriate treatment. In some instances, C-peptide testing allowed people to stop very long-standing insulin therapy; this can be life-transforming.”

The test will be offered in hospital diabetes centres to people who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes for at least three years. In Scotland, about 315,000 people are living with diabetes.

Public health minister Maree Todd said: “Type 1 diabetes is a significant health challenge right across the world. I am proud that Scotland will be the first country to introduce this blood test which has the potential to have a significant positive impact on the lives of those people living with diabetes.”

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