Posted on May 25, 2023, 6 p.m.
According to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health conducted at Klick Labs, 1 in 5 people may not be as healthy as they appear. The study describes a new way the researchers developed to detect the earliest signs of type 2 diabetes, and using this approach the research team found that a fifth of people classed as being healthy by conventional medical standards actually have the metabolism of a person dealing with prediabetes.
The researchers focussed on a precursor to diabetes called impaired glucose homeostasis (IGH) and applied their new patented mathematical method to data from continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to study glucose patterns.
“For people with diabetes, blood glucose levels can rise and fall like a wild roller-coaster ride with steep drops and peaks,” said Jaycee Kaufman, the study’s lead author and a research scientist at Klick Labs. “We found a similar pattern in patients with IGH, albeit those patterns were more like gentle waves than dramatic peaks, but intervention on this population could limit the likelihood of progression to full diabetes.”
For this study, 384 participants were assessed by a doctor for two weeks using CGM to keep track of variations, then they were diagnosed as being healthy, prediabetic, or diabetic according to the American Diabetes Association guidelines. Then the researchers applied their new approach to re-classify the participants based on IGH status into either “effective” or “ impaired” groups.
“What was most surprising is that 20 percent of participants, who were assessed using the standard screening tools for diabetes and cleared as healthy by a physician, were then found to have impaired glucose homeostasis–reinforcing it is now possible to provide an earlier, more accurate and sensitive assessment of people’s diabetic status,” explains Yan Fossat, Vice President of Klick Labs.
“This new method of analysis is a major step forward in the prevention and management of diabetes,” says Fossat. “Early detection and intervention is critical in the management of Type 2 diabetes, so our method has the potential to have a significant impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide.”
Diabetes is becoming more prevalent around the globe, in North America alone an estimated 11.7 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes, and an estimated 34 million Americans have diabetes. 1 in 3 people have either prediabetes or diabetes, and to add to this over 80% of those people are unaware that they have prediabetes making it difficult to stop the progression of the condition.
Technology such as this could represent a big step forward in changing the statistics. If used as screening in checkups, as an example, it could alert people to having prediabetes so that they can make the lifestyle changes needed to stop the progression of the condition and even reverse their trajectory. Technology such as this could be the game changer in diabetes awareness, prevention, and intervention that is direly needed.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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