Texas Tech, local dentists partner to offer diabetes screenings

Diabetes Insulin Glucose Blood

Some dentists in El Paso, Texas, will offer diabetes screenings to patients, thanks to a community health program offered by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine (WLHSDM).

WLHSDM, which also screens patients for diabetes at its oral health clinic, received a nearly $167,000 grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to expand diabetes screenings to private dentistry practices. The program is an effort to improve community health along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Dentist offices are well suited to conduct voluntary screenings because of the higher frequency of patient visits compared to physicians, WLHSDM said. The screenings will entail patients completing a questionnaire to ascertain their risk level following finger-prick blood screenings.

Nearly 13.9% of adults in El Paso County have diabetes. This percentage is higher than the national average. Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in adults over the age of 75. In El Paso County, 32.2% of deaths are diabetes-related, according to the school.

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