A new genetic test looks to improve diabetes diagnosis. The wrong diagnosis can happen when a person is mistakenly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and the diagnosis should have been Type 2, and vice versa.
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reveal that as of 2014, the latest year of collected data, 22 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes. This is a four times increase from 1980, in which 5.5 million people were diagnosed with the medical condition.
Diabetes is a disease in which a person’s body does not make enough insulin or does not use the insulin it produces well enough. As a result, diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and lower limb amputations. Doctors break down diabetes into three main types, Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational diabetes (note there can be other types).
Type 1 diabetes is what is commonly known as juvenile onset diabetes. Type 1 is an insulin dependent form of diabetes. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes, or adult onset is a non-insulin dependent type of diabetes. Finally, Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that only pregnant women get (this can also be a risk factor for a possible shoulder dystocia birth).
When a patient is improperly diagnosed this can cause serious problems for the patient. For example, Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by being over-weight and can be developed at any age. But with some many in the US suffering from being over-weight, it is making it harder for doctors to reach the correct diagnosis, according to reports.
Currently to diagnose the medical condition doctors essentially look at the patient’s age at diagnosis and whether the patient is obese. The new test will look to genetic variants in DNA and combine the risks from each into a score. If the score is high a patient might have Type 1, and with a low score indicating that the patient might have Type 2.
To read more about the new test and the article in support of this post click HERE.