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462 million people in the world today live with type 2 diabetes. A disease that increases the risk of dying from heart attack and stroke. It is possible to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes significantly by changing your eating habits and exercising more.
The only issue is that many people do not know that they are on the way to developing diabetes before they already suffer from the disease. It can now be easier due to a discovery made by researchers from Lund University.
The researchers have discovered that a protein, follistatin, acts as a biomarker that can show well in advance if a person is at risk for developing type-2 diabetes.
"We found that higher levels of the protein follistatin in the blood circulation are associated with whether a person will develop type 2 diabetes or not, regardless of other known risk factors such as age, BMI (body mass index), diet or physical activity. The findings are based on our study as we followed 5,400 people up to 19 years before diagnosis in two different places in Sweden and Finland", says Yang De Marinis, researcher at Lund University and responsible for the study, in a press release.
The researchers will now go further and develop a diagnostic tool that, with the help of AI, will be able to read the biomarker from a common blood sample. The idea is that the tool should be able to show a value that predicts how likely it is that a person will get type 2 diabetes.
"The discovery gives us an opportunity to take measures to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Our research will continue towards this goal", says Yang De Marinis.