Nav: Home

A better way to predict diabetes

June 23, 2016

TORONTO -- An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery. The discovery would allow health care providers to identify women at greatest risk and help motivate women to make early lifestyle changes and follow other strategies that could prevent them from developing the disease later in life.

Gestational diabetes is defined as glucose intolerance that is first identified during pregnancy. It occurs in three to 13 percent of all pregnant women, and increases a woman's risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 20 to 50 percent within five years after pregnancy.

The joint efforts of the University of Toronto's Michael Wheeler, a professor in the Department of Physiology, and Erica Gunderson, Senior Research Scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, led to development of a technique called targeted metabolomics to better predict the development of type 2 diabetes in women with recent gestational diabetes. Typically, diabetes is diagnosed by measuring blood sugar levels in the form of glucose, an important fuel used by cells in the body. The researchers identified several other metabolites that indicate early changes that signify future diabetes risk long before changes in glucose levels occur.

The team tested fasting blood samples collected from women with gestational diabetes within two months after delivery -- predicting with 83 percent accuracy which women would develop the disease later on. These results were significantly better at predicting the development of type 2 diabetes than conventional methods, a fasting blood test followed by the time-consuming and inconvenient oral glucose tolerance test.

"After delivering a baby, many women may find it very difficult to schedule two hours for another glucose test," says Wheeler, who is also a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. "What if we could create a much more effective test that could be given to women while they're still in the hospital? Once diabetes has developed, it's very difficult to reverse."

"Early prevention is the key to minimizing the devastating effects of diabetes on health outcomes," says Dr. Gunderson. "By identifying women soon after delivery, we can focus our resources on those at greatest risk who may benefit most from concerted early prevention efforts."

The fasting blood samples used for this study were obtained from 1,035 women diagnosed with gestational diabetes and enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente's Study of Women, Infant Feeding and Type 2 Diabetes after GDM Pregnancy, also known as the SWIFT Study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (R01 HD050625). The SWIFT study screened women with oral glucose tolerance tests at 2 months after delivery and then annually thereafter to evaluate the impact of breastfeeding and other characteristics on the development of type 2 diabetes after a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends type 2 diabetes screening at six to 12 weeks after delivery in women with gestational diabetes, and every one to three years afterwards for life. The time-consuming nature of the two-hour oral glucose test is believed to be one reason for low compliance rates of less than 40 percent in some settings.

The new method may also be able to predict individuals who may develop type 2 diabetes in the general population - a major advance at a time when more than 300 million people suffer from the preventable form of this disease. A next-generation blood test that's more simple and accurate than the current options could help to identify individuals who would benefit most from more timely and effective interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Wheeler and Gunderson are now hoping to conduct additional tests in women with gestational diabetes to evaluate racial and ethnic differences in prediction, and investigate high risk groups with prediabetes to learn if metabolomics will predict type 2 diabetes in the general population.
-end-
For more information:

Heidi Singer
Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Office of Communications
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
416-978-5811
Heidi.Singer@utoronto.ca

Ann Wallace
Senior Communications Specialist
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research
510-891-3653
Ann.M.Wallace@kp.org

University of Toronto

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me
by Adam Brown (Author), Kelly L. Close (Foreword)

The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
by Jason Fung (Author), Nina Teicholz (Foreword)

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
by Joel Fuhrman M.D. (Author)

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs
by Neal Barnard (Author)

Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book
by Mayo Clinic (Author)

Diabetes For Dummies
by Alan L. Rubin (Author)

Diabetic Living Diabetes Meals by the Plate: 90 Low-Carb Meals to Mix & Match
by Diabetic Living Editors (Author)

The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Food Choices
by American Diabetes Association ADA (Author)

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars
by Richard K. Bernstein (Author)

Choose Your Foods: Food Lists for Diabetes
by American Diabetes Association (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Hacking The Law
We have a vision of justice as blind, impartial, and fair — but in reality, the law often fails those who need it most. This hour, TED speakers explore radical ways to change the legal system. Guests include lawyer and social justice advocate Robin Steinberg, animal rights lawyer Steven Wise, political activist Brett Hennig, and lawyer and social entrepreneur Vivek Maru.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#495 Earth Science in Space
Some worlds are made of sand. Some are made of water. Some are even made of salt. In science fiction and fantasy, planet can be made of whatever you want. But what does that mean for how the planets themselves work? When in doubt, throw an asteroid at it. This is a live show recorded at the 2018 Dragon Con in Atlanta Georgia. Featuring Travor Valle, Mika McKinnon, David Moscato, Scott Harris, and moderated by our own Bethany Brookshire. Note: The sound isn't as good as we'd hoped but we love the guests and the conversation and we wanted to...