New Biomarkers for Diabetes

Obesity (determined by BMI) and blood glucose levels are by far the best predictors of whether a person will develop diabetes. Yet doctors are always on high alert for new biomarkers that may be more sensitive indicators of which patients will develop diabetes in the near future. The idea of using biomarkers to predict diabetes is not entirely new. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) values are now routinely being monitored to screen for at-risk patients. However, a new study in PLoS One shows that several new biomarkers in the blood may further our understanding of exactly who’s at risk for diabetes, and increase our knowledge of the etiology of the disease.

Veikko Salomaa and colleagues from the Department of Chronic Disease Prevention at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, tested nearly 13,000 people and found almost 600 cases of diabetes during routine follow-up exams.

According to the study, low levels of adiponectin, and high levels of apoB, C-reactive protein (CRP), and insulin, increase the chance that a woman will develop diabetes. When these factors were measured, proper diabetes prediction increased by 14% compared to when doctors only use classic risk factors, such as BMI and blood glucose levels, to predict disease.

The biomarkers that best predicted diabetes in men were low adiponectin, and high levels of CRP, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, and ferritin. Accounting for these biomarkers led to a 25% increase in correct diabetes detection in the cohort.

read the study here.