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New Blood Test Predicts Future Chance of Diabetes

Oct 9, 2007

Researchers at UCLA say they’ve now discovered a way to predict your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes long before you ever get it. . Type 2 diabetes is caused by poor eating habits, hereditary, and lack of exercise. .

But now, researchers at UCLA say there is another risk factor that doesn’t have to do with weight, diet and genes that can help predict who’s likely to develop diabetes.

"Some of these markers can actually be measured fairly consistently and reliably long before the disease occurs," said Dr. Simin Liu, epidemiology professor at UCLA.

They’re called inflammatory cytokines, proteins made by our fat tissue. It’s when you have too many of them that they become a risk.

"Obese people tend to have elevated levels of these kinds of cytokines," said Liu.
But thinner people can have them too. A simple blood test can tell you if you’re on the road to diabetes. Liu hopes his research leads to a drug that can lower cytokine levels, but even without medication.  "You can lower your body weight via exercise and dietary changes – and those are well established regiments you can adopt to lower risk of diabetes," said Liu.
If people knew they where going to get diabetes, would they take precautions? This new test may help future generations. Some labs can test blood for elevated levels of cytokines.


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