Usually, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed later in life, by which time early effects of the disease have already manifested themselves in the body . Early diagnosis and awareness about the condition are paramount to stemming the diabetes epidemic. New research indicates that patients may be able to be diagnosed early if tests show raised levels of protein in the blood.
The protein, RBP4, could help to identify those patients who are at risk of diabetes. Drugs specifically targeted towards treating RBP4 levels may also help to reduce the risk of the full-blown disease developing .
The study was led by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, and is to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine . The early diagnosis could provide patients with the knowledge to take strong preventative measures before the condition becomes more serious.
RBP4 levels are common amongst people suffering from insulin resistance. This occurs when bodily tissue loses the ability to respond to the actions of the hormone insulin. Glucose then builds up in the bloodstream and eventually leads to type 2 diabetes. One expert claimed : “Being able to determine diabetes risk well before the onset of symptoms could provide an important opportunity for patients to take preventive measures.”