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Type-2 diabetes could actually be detected up to 20 years in advance, researchers say

09/10/2018

Type-2 diabetes could actually be detected up to 20 years in advance, researchers say

Some of the warning signs often associated with type-2 diabetes can be detected years before the disease is actually diagnosed, researchers say.


A study found factors such as insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels were seen in people years prior to them developing pre-diabetes – a typical pre-cursor to the type-2 form of the disease.


The authors of the Japanese study say their findings suggest that diabetes treatment should begin much earlier in life.


For the study, conducted over an 11-year period, the researchers followed a group of 27,000 people who were not diabetic and aged between 30 and 50. The individuals were tracked until they either (a) got diagnosed with type-2 diabetes; (b) got diagnosed with pre-diabetes; or (c) the end of 2016 was reached.


During the study, 1,067 new cases of type-2 diabetes were diagnosed. The interesting part is that these people showed warning signs, such as insulin resistance and higher fasting blood sugar levels, up to 10 years prior.


Similar warning signs were also seen in those that went on to develop pre-diabetes.


So, this suggests that type-2 diabetes could actually be detected up to 20 years before a diagnosis occurs. This is because people who develop type-2 diabetes usually get pre-diabetes first.


Dr Hiroyuki Sagesaka, from Aizawa Hospital in Matsumoto, Japan, who led the research, said: “Because trials of prevention in people with pre-diabetes seem to be less successful over long-term follow-up, we may need to intervene much earlier than the pre-diabetes stage to prevent progression to full blown diabetes.


“A much earlier intervention trail, either drug or lifestyle-related, is warranted.”


[Related reading: Diabetes is actually five diseases, not two]

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