Glucose metabolism: The canary in the coal mine

Altered blood sugar metabolism can help predict — and perhaps prevent, or delay — the onset of Type 2 diabetes (aka adult onset diabetes). T2D is an emerging health epidemic with close ties to cardiovascular disease. Approximately 85-95% cases of diabetes are T2D.

From Medpage Today:

Insulin sensitivity, beta-cell function, and blood glucose may provide telltale signs of impending type 2 diabetes up to five years before onset, researchers affirmed.

The traditional marker for diabetes and prediabetes diagnosis — fasting blood glucose — shot up in the three years prior to diabetes onset, Adam G. Tab├ík, M.D., of University College London, and colleagues found in a 13-year study of British civil servants.

But beta-cell function abnormalities emerged three to four years before onset and insulin sensitivity fell sharply over the five years before diagnosis, they reported here at the American Diabetes Association meeting and simultaneously online in The Lancet.