Detecting the earliest possible signs of type 2 diabetes

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Randox Laboratories is this month driving awareness of diabetes and the need for early and accurate diagnosis to enable patients to take preventive action before the condition worsens.

Diabetes UK have stated that diabetes is the fastest growing health threat of our times and an urgent public health issue. Statistics show that since 1996, the number of people living with diabetes has more than doubled. It has been estimated that there are 1.1 million people living with diabetes in the UK that have yet to be diagnosed, including 84,836 people in Northern Ireland.

According to Diabetes UK around 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes, which equates to one person every two minutes. If nothing changes, it is estimated that diabetes will affect one in ten people by 2040. This will raise diabetes prevalence from 415 million to 642 million by 2040.  With current treatment taking up almost 9% of the annual NHS budget – roughly £8.8bn a year – the implications for future healthcare budgets are clear if this dangerous trend persists.

The good news however, is that recent research has found that type 2 diabetes is preventable through lifestyle changes. The NHS recently released the UK’s National Diabetes Prevention Programme which is aimed at tackling the increasing growing threat of diabetes.

However, following a warning raised by an Oxford University study, which looked into efforts of this Prevention Programme, it was found that it is unlikely to have much impact because the blood tests used were inaccurate at detecting pre-diabetes – the stage at which diabetes is reversible.

The blood tests used in the National Diabetes Prevention Programme were only effective at detecting diabetes at a stage when damage had already been done.

At Randox, we have developed a number of tests that can help detect the earliest possible signs of diabetes, often before symptoms have even manifested – including a pioneering test for the hormone Adiponectin.

Assessing Adiponectin levels allows doctors to calculate a patient’s levels of visceral fat – a dangerous, internal fat stored around organs. This deep fat, which is not visible to the naked eye, is linked to health problems including Type-2 diabetes.

Low levels of adiponectin equate to high levels of visceral fat which can be combated by improving your diet, exercise habits and even stress levels. Given that 70% of Type-2 diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle changes, there is strong correlation that by detecting low levels of Adiponectin and taking corrective and preventive action, it could result in a decrease in the numbers of people who develop the life-altering condition.

In addition to a test for the Adiponectin biomarker, Randox Biosciences have created a Metabolic Syndrome Array that measures 12 markers associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic Syndrome is a is a group of cardiovascular risk factors that affects over 20% of adults and results in a person being three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack, and five times more likely to develop diabetes.

Ultimately, we would like to see all medical professionals who are at the forefront of patient care armed with the most accurate diagnostic tools available. Updating traditional practice may not be easy but we believe it is imperative to do so, if we are to effectively challenge this global epidemic.

Randox remains focused on providing early diagnoses and preventing illnesses by providing innovative diagnostics tests that will continue to revolutionise the healthcare landscape.

For further information, please contact Randox PR by emailing or phoning 028 9442 2413.