Sharon Vacha, Dr of Pharmacy Candidate, 2010
Dave Joffe, Editor
Tethys Bioscience has developed a predictive blood test to evaluate a patient’s 5 year risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This company has articles in two publications, Diabetes Care and The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, outlining how they came to the final product and results of a study they conducted using this new test. According to Tethys this will enable medical professionals to focus their efforts on reducing the risk of patients most likely to develop the disease and possibly reduce the consequences of having it. The articles published indicate that Tethys PreDx Diabetes Risk Score (DRS) is a better predictor of risk than the tools currently used.
The traditional methods for evaluating a patient with potential for T2DM include impaired fasting glucose test and oral glucose tolerance test and also non-invasive anthropometric indices. The non-invasive anthropometric indicators like BMI, age, family history, gender and waist circumference have less specificity than invasive measures. The IFG test and the OGTT have several problems but the most problematic is that by the time a problem is discovered damage may already exist.
The DRS tests fasting serum using biomarkers found by Tethys to be the most valuable when trying to determine an individual’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. These are adiponectin, C-reactive protein, ferritin, glucose, hemoglobin A1c, interleukin-2 receptor alpha and insulin. These biomarkers show different paths of diabetes development like inflammatory response, metabolic disorders, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, coagulation and cell death. The results assign a patient a lowered risk, a moderate risk or high risk.
The study used patients from the Inter99 Cohort, a Danish study that followed 61,301 subjects between 30 and 60 years old to examine effects of lifestyle changes on cardio vascular disease. Of these 61,301 patients 6,784 were followed for their rate of progression to Type 2 diabetes. The subset included people who had no diabetes at baseline, age ≥39, BMI≥25 kg/m², impaired fasting glucose (100-125mg/dl) and metabolic syndrome. The results showed that the PreDx DRS model was statistically significantly better at predicting five year risk of T2DM than fasting plasma glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c and non-invasive values.
The PreDx Diabetes Risk score blood test can be useful in predicting a person’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes in the next five years. It will give you a quantitative measure of an individual’s risk by simple blood test. What remains to be seen is what potential diabetic patients do with this information. It is, after all, up to the patient whether or not to implement the lifestyle interventions recommended by their medical professional.
J Diabetes Sci Technol Vol 3, Issue 4, July 2009
DIABETES CARE, VOLUME 32, NUMBER 7, JULY 2009