Disorders of Aging: November/December 2021

Diabetes Breakthrough: Blood Biomarker Predicts Disease Onset 19 Years Before Diagnosis

Chris Melore

Nov. 15, 2021 (StudyFinds.org)  LUND, Sweden —A single protein in the blood could help doctors predict if someone will develop type 2 diabetes nearly two decades before the onset of the disease. Researchers from Lund University discovered that levels of a protein called follistatin in the blood can reveal a person’s risk for diabetes up to 19 years before signs of blood sugar dysfunction even appear.

Study author Dr. Yang De Marinis notes that high follistatin levels appear to be predictive of type 2 diabetes onset regardless of the patient’s age, body mass index, blood glucose levels, diet, and level of physical activity. Follistatin is a protein involved in regulating a person’s metabolism. The liver is mainly responsible for secreting this substance.

 

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