A person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes could be detected with a simple blood test, new research has found.

The inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) is commonly used to predict an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, recent research has found that assessing biomarkers jointly, rather than individually, may be better at predicting the risk of diabetes and its complications.

Dan Wu, a researcher from Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia, looked at the link between systematic inflammation and type 2 diabetes, using both high-sensitivity CRP and another biomarker called monocyte to high-density lipoprotein ratio (MHR).

Wu looked at data from more than 40,800 people without diabetes during a period of almost ten years. Over the course of the study, more than 4,800 participants developed diabetes.

Among those with type 2 diabetes, Wu found notable interaction between MHR and CRP.

She said: “Specifically, increases in the MHR in each CRP stratum increased the risk of type 2 diabetes; concomitant increases in MHR and CRP presented significantly higher incidence rates and risks of diabetes.

“Furthermore, the association between chronic inflammation (reflected by the joint cumulative MHR and CRP exposure) and incident diabetes was highly age- and sex-specific and influenced by hypertension, high cholesterol, or prediabetes.

“The addition of the MHR and CRP to the clinical risk model significantly improved the prediction of incident diabetes.”

Wu found that women had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes conferred by increases in both CRP and MHR, with sex hormones having a possible role to play in these differences.

The findings, Wu said, give weight to how chronic inflammation is involved in causing early-onset diabetes.

She said: “Epidemiological evidence indicates a consistent increase in early-onset diabetes, especially in developing countries.

“Leveraging this age-specific association between chronic inflammation and type 2 diabetes may be a promising method for achieving early identification of at-risk young adults and developing personalised interventions.”

Lifestyle can affect inflammation, along with metabolic conditions including diet, stress, poor sleep and glucose and cholesterol dysregulation.

Read the study in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Coronavirus: UK instructed to stay at home this weekend

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that staying at home this weekend…

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…