The warning signs of type-2diabetes may be detectable 20 years before the disease is diagnosed, researchers say.
Elevated fasting blood sugar levels and insulin resistance were seen in people years before they developed pre-diabetes, often a pre-cursor to type-2, a study found.
Another study found type-1 diabetes may be misdiagnosed after the age of 30
‘Intervene much earlier’
The Japanese study, carried out between 2005 and 2016, looked at the body mass indexes (BMIs), fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity of 27,000 non-diabetics, who were aged between 30 and 50 and were mostly men.
Insulin resistance occurs when cells of the body do not respond properly to the hormone insulin and can lead to a variety of health problems.
Researchers found these people had had increased fasting blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, along with higher BMIs, up to 10 years before diagnosis.
A similar pattern was observed in those who went on to develop pre-diabetes – the same kind of warning signs, albeit to a lesser degree, had been detectable more than a decade before they were diagnosed.
Because most people who develop type-2diabetes first go through a pre-diabetes stage, researchers say it means the warning signs of the condition may be detectable more than 20 years before an actual diagnosis.
Dr Hiroyuki Sagesaka, from Aizawa Hospital in Matsumoto, Japan, who led the research, said, “Because trials of prevention in people with pre-diabetes seem to be less successful over long-term follow-up, we may need to intervene much earlier than the pre-diabetes stage to prevent progression to full blown diabetes.”
Dr Sagesaka added, “A much earlier intervention trail, either drug or lifestyle-related, is warranted.”