Researchers have developed a new and simple blood test that could detect the onset of diabetes by up to 10 years before any of the symptoms of the condition occur.
It is hoped that the study, by scientists at Harvard University and published in Nature Medicine, could provide a suitable screening for diabetes in the future, and help to identify people who are likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and related complications such as blindness .
The team tested levels of five amino acids in the blood of a group of 2,422 healthy volunteers, 201 of which later developed diabetes . It was shown that the people with the greater levels of amino acids in their blood were five times as likely to develop diabetes within the following 12 years of the study.
Victoria King, head of research at the charity Diabetes UK, commented “Early diagnosis and effective management of type 2 diabetes are crucial in reducing the risk of developing diabetes complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation .”
She added “Therefore finding ways to identify those who are at risk of developing the condition are important. This research, in future, could lead to ways to help us identify those at risk as well as giving us new insights into how and why type 2 diabetes develops.”

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