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Diabetes is a chronic disease, which some people fear. A new study recently conducted by Swedish researchers from Lund University found that a blood test may detect people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes for two decades due to the condition’s injuries. .
The researchers behind the study found that people with higher levels of a protein called follistatin were more likely to develop “silent killer” diabetes, compared to volunteers at the other end of the scale.
The researchers explained, that the results allow to detect the condition of those at risk of diabetes early, which reduces the risk of later complications, such as heart disease and strokes, according to what was published in the British newspaper “Daily Mail”.
Nearly 5 million people in the UK have diabetes with 90 per cent of all cases being type 2. About 34.2 million people in the US have the condition.
Obesity is the main trigger for developing diabetes, so maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising can reduce your risk of developing this condition. Obesity prevents the pancreas from producing enough insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is now diagnosed after it has progressed through a blood or urine test, which detects elevated blood sugar levels. The researchers examined blood samples from 4,195 participants who gave regular samples over nearly two decades.
They found that about 577 people (13.8 percent) had type 2 diabetes, and those who developed the condition had higher levels of plasma follistatin in their blood at the start of the study, compared to those who did not.
Researchers reported that follistatin helps regulate metabolism, but also encourages the breakdown of body fats and their accumulation in the liver, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.
The researchers noted that participants with a slight rise in follistatin were 28 percent more likely to develop diabetes; Those with higher levels of follistatin were 47 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the following years, and those with the highest levels were twice as likely to develop the disease.
“This study shows that follistatin has the potential to become an important biomarker for predicting type 2 diabetes in the future,” said lead author Dr. Yang de Marines. “The study results bring us one step closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying diabetes.”
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