While most of today’s research efforts on health focus on prevention, treatment, and palliative management or rehabilitation, one recently completed and published study centered on developing a method to predict the likelihood of developing complications related to diabetes.
In a study that involved analyzing data gathered from 1,973 individuals diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes who were monitored over a 7-year-long EURODIAB Prospective Complications Study, scientists developed a model designed to predict which cases of Type 1 diabetes would eventually progress with serious complications. The research, led by Sabita Soedamah-Muthu of the Wageningen University in Netherlands, analyzed several quantifiable risk factors associated with the disease.
From the pooled patient data, characteristic features of common complications were studied through a computer model. The identified crucial outcomes were: severe coronary heart disease, stroke, end-stage renal failure, amputations, and blindness. The researchers cross-analyzed these with a list of highly relevant quantifiable risk factors, namely: age, glycated haemoglobin, waist-hip ratio, albumin/creatinine ratio and HDL- (good) cholesterol.
This new predictive model would only require health professionals to write down obtained patient information on the identified risk factors on a score chart, in order to see a type 1 diabetes patient’s prognosis for the next 3, 5 and 7 years, and which major complications they are at risk of developing.
This study’s findings should be able to help physicians make their patients realize the importance of effective disease management and affecting positive lifestyle changes, as well as reduce healthcare costs in the long run. By knowing the likely progression of their disease, patients would be more willing to address modifiable risk factors.
The study, published in Diabetologia, a publication of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, is entitled, “Differences in HDL-cholesterol:apoA-I + apoA-II ratio and a poE phenotype with albumin uric status in Type I diabetic patients.”
In similar news, scientists from Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine were recently able to pinpoint a gene that interferes with the insulin production of beta cells, potentially resulting in type 1 diabetes.