One In Three Parents Surveyed Unaware of Easy Ketone Test That May...

One In Three Parents Surveyed Unaware of Easy Ketone Test That May Help Prevent the Onset of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children

Frequent testing reduces hospitalization for life threatening condition


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Alameda, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 13, 2006–Survey findings announced today by Abbott and Children with Diabetes (CWD) indicate that more than one third of parents of children with type 1 diabetes are unaware of an at-home blood ketone test which may help prevent the onset or progression of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), commonly known as diabetic coma. DKA is a life-threatening condition and is the leading cause of mortality among children with diabetes.

Ketones are substances formed in the blood when fat is broken down for energy because of insufficient insulin levels. Severe insulin deficiency and high blood ketone levels result in DKA. Frequent testing for ketones during times of illness, when the risk of ketone development is notably higher, is necessary to detect and prevent DKA in children with type 1 diabetes, who produce little or no insulin.

Results from the survey, conducted by the non-profit group Children With Diabetes (CWD) in partnership with Abbott Diabetes Care, found that more than 30 percent of parents test their child’s ketone levels only once or twice a month. Ninety-six percent of parents say they test for ketones more frequently when a child is ill, but 30 percent are unaware that testing blood ketones could easily be done at home using a hand-held meter. Additional survey results revealed that 75 percent of parents of children with diabetes are still using the traditional urine ketone test method with delayed results. In addition, 40 percent of parents surveyed noted that their child had missed multiple school days due to diabetes-related illness.

“Caring for a child with diabetes is always challenging, but it becomes even more crucial during times of illness,” said Lori Laffel, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School associate professor and chief of the pediatric, adolescent and young adult section of the Joslin Diabetes Center. “A handheld meter for routine home use can enable parents of children with diabetes to easily and conveniently test for both blood glucose levels and blood ketones at home, readily detecting elevated ketone levels,” Dr. Laffel added.

Abbott’s Precision Xtra(TM) is a simple, two-step testing method that uses a very small blood sample for both blood glucose and blood ketone testing at home. One of the only portable dual-testing meters available, Precision Xtra offers parents of children and people with type 1 diabetes a simple solution to accurately monitor blood glucose and blood ketone levels anywhere. The meter now includes a faster test strip, making frequent testing more convenient.

According to Dr. Laffel’s 2005 study on sick day management*, children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes who tested blood ketones during sick days with Precision Xtra tested more often, and had a significantly lower incidence of emergency room visits and hospitalization, than those who tested for ketones using the traditional urine method. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood ketone testing over urine ketone testing as a more reliable method of diagnosing and monitoring DKA.

The Precision Xtra system is available at retail outlets nationwide.

About Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

DKA (commonly known as diabetic coma) is the result of severe insulin deficiency and high blood ketone levels. Ketones are substances formed in the blood when fat is broken down for energy because of insufficient insulin levels. DKA is the leading cause of mortality among children with diabetes.

About Abbott Diabetes Care

Abbott Diabetes Care, based in Alameda, California, is a worldwide leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing glucose monitoring systems designed to help patients better manage their diabetes. Abbott Diabetes Care is committed to developing products to reduce the discomfort and inconvenience of blood glucose monitoring and introducing systems that are easier to use, require smaller blood samples and provide faster results.

Abbott Diabetes Care has several leading-edge glucose monitoring systems and test strips in the United States for use in both home and hospital settings; leading brands include FreeStyle(R), FreeStyle Flash(R), FreeStyle Freedom(TM) and Precision Xtra(TM). Additional information about Abbott Diabetes Care may be found at http://www.abbottdiabetescare.com.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s Web site at http://www.abbott.com.

About Children with Diabetes (CWD)

The mission of Children with Diabetes – the online community for kids, families and adults with diabetes – is to promote understanding of the care and treatment of diabetes, especially in children; to increase awareness of the need for unrestricted diabetes care for children at school and daycare, to support families living with diabetes, and to promote understanding of research into a cure. More information about Children with Diabetes may be found at: http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com.

* Laffel LM et al, Sick Day Management Using Blood 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB) Compared with Urine Ketone Monitoring Reduces Hospital Visits in Young People with T1DM: a randomized clinical trial. Diabet Med;23(3):278-84.

One In Three Parents Surveyed Unaware of Easy Ketone Test That May Help Prevent the Onset of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children