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Could a Simple Blood Test Predict Diabetes?

Jun 10, 2020 by Smiti Munwani

Diabetes affects millions and, while the disease is manageable, it is a major co-morbid factor in many other ailments. It can be a factor in cardiovascular problems and inflammation, leading to longer healing time post-surgery or trauma and other problems. It can also be a factor in organ damage, eye and foot problems, and worse.

Could a blood test predict diabetes?

While diabetes can currently be easily diagnosed by a simple blood test, if it could be predicted before it actually manifests, it would help people make the necessary lifestyle and diet changes that would perhaps enable them to avoid the disease altogether.

Researchers are now working on a simple blood test that would be able to predict if women who have gestational diabetes will develop diabetes up to five years post-delivery. Women who are diagnosed with GD (gestational diabetes) are at 20% to 50% greater risk of developing diabetes later on.

The University of Toronto's Michael Wheeler, a professor in the Department of Physiology, and a team of research scientists were able to identify other metabolites that indicate the possibility of an increased risk of diabetes before it can be found by a glucose test.

While the test has been used on women with gestational diabetes, it is likely that it can be tweaked to check the general population and so help prevent Type 2 diabetes.


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