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Lund University announces new biomarkers to predict diabetes

Lund University in Sweden has announced that an international research team identified 13 biomarkers that could significantly enhance the prediction of cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

This breakthrough is expected to lead to improved risk assessment and management for a population that is twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those without diabetes.

Predicting which patients with T2D will develop cardiovascular disease has been a challenge for clinicians.

To address this, researchers from Lund University, Johns Hopkins University in the US, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted a comprehensive review of more than 9,000 studies from 1990 to 2021.

The team analysed the differences between individuals with T2D who had experienced cardiovascular disease and those who had not.

A total of 195 biomarkers were examined, and 13 were found to show a significant association with cardiovascular risk in the diabetic population.

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One biomarker, in particular, the peptide hormone NT-proBNP, was highlighted as a promising risk marker.

Already used to monitor heart failure, higher levels of NT-proBNP were consistently linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with T2D across multiple studies.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine associate professor of medicine Nestoras Mathioudakis said: “Our goal was to identify promising markers that could improve cardiovascular risk prediction in people with type 2 diabetes. We wanted to look beyond traditional prognostic factors like hypertension and smoking.”

Chinese University of Hong Kong diabetes professor and analysis co-senior author Ronald Ma said: “The 13 biomarkers, especially NT-proBNP, warrant further testing to evaluate their potential. If future studies confirm their value in predicting cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, we may be able to change standards of care.”

The findings from this study are part of the Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative (PMDI), a collaborative effort between the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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