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Breathalyzers Could Test Blood Sugar

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file photo (credit: Elmer Martinez/AFP/Getty Images)

file photo (credit: Elmer Martinez/AFP/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Could finger sticks to test blood sugar be a thing of the past?

According to researchers at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists annual meeting, breathalyzers – like the ones used to test drivers for alcohol – could replace the finger sticks someday.

The pain and inconvenience of finger sticks is enough to make some of the 25 million diabetics in the US stop checking their blood sugar regularly. The breathalyzer technology detects acetone, which is exhaled by diabetics, and has been shown to have a relationship with blood sugar level.

This is not ready for prime time but a potential test that could be improved.

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