The Most Accurate Type 2 Diabetes Prediction Model Ever?

Researchers from McMaster University say they have come across a very simple way to predict a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes-- and that it is the best prediction model ever derived.

Currently, prediction models relating to people at risk of type 2 diabetes try to combine complex clinical factors like body mass index (BMI), family history, age and gender.

Yet reporting in the journal Diabetologia, professor David Meyre of McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and colleagues found that measuring the blood glucose level in people one hour after they consume a 75-gram glucose solution outperforms every other prediction model published in the medical literature.

One Hour Plasma Glucose

Known as 1h-PG (one hour plasma glucose), this measurement alone is "sufficient to identify people who are more at risk for developing type-2 diabetes in the future," said Meyre, adding that only 30 percent of non-diabetic adults in their study had a 1h-PG higher than 160 mg/dL but these adults made up three quarters of all future diabetic cases.

Meyre thinks that the measurement can identify those people who should be targeted for type 2 prevention programs-- programs that could improve the lives of millions of people all over the world.

"Applying mass screening programs in populations and enrolling people at risk in a simple and inexpensive lifestyle modification program ... may prevent up to half of future type 2 diabetes cases," he said.

Study Limitations

One limitation of this study is that it, like many longitudinal studies of diabetes, involved 5,000 northern Europeans-- white people, in other words. This is problematic chiefly because type 2 incidence varies by ethnicity.

That said, other recent research shows that 1h-PG has proven to be highly predictive of type 2 diabetes among Mexican Americans, suggesting its greater efficacy across other ethnic groups.

Simpler to conduct and with results more objective than the current standard, 1h-PG has the potential to be a real game-changer in a disease that has doubled across the globe over the last thirty years.

Sources: Diabetologia; McMaster; Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research

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