Blood test may predict diabetes risk 10 yrs before first symptomsMarch 21st, 2011 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI
London, Mar 21 (ANI): Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have suggested that measuring the levels of small molecules in the blood could predict diabetes risk as much as a decade before first symptoms appear.
They said that the finding the levels of five amino acids not only indicated increased diabetes risk in a general population but also could differentiate, among individuals with traditional risk factors such as obesity, those most likely to actually develop diabetes.
“These findings could provide insight into metabolic pathways that are altered very early in the process leading to diabetes,” said lead author Thomas Wang.
“They also raise the possibility that, in selected individuals, these measurements could identify those at highest risk of developing diabetes so that early preventive measures could be instituted,” he added.
Since the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes marks the culmination of a years-long breakdown of the body’s system for metabolizing glucose, the ability to detect that breakdown at a stage when lifestyle changes could halt the process may significantly reduce the incidence of the disease.
The current study began with an analysis of data from the Framingham Offspring Study, which follows a group of adult children of participants.
Out of 2,400 study participants who entered the study in 1991 and 1995, about 200 developed type 2 diabetes during the following 12 years.
Using the baseline blood samples, the team measured levels of 61 metabolites in 189 participants who later developed diabetes and 189 others who remained diabetes free.
This analysis found that elevations in five amino acids — isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine — were significantly associated with the later development of type 2 diabetes.
The investigators then found that measuring combinations of several metabolites, as opposed to a single amino acid, improved risk prediction.
The report will be released online in Nature Medicine. (ANI)
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