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Blood tests predict diabetes risk but are infrequently utilized

Category: Diabetes

Blood tests predict diabetes risk but are infrequently utilized   A number of measures of health including cholesterol testing can be used to predict a person's future diabetes risk, but a new study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that these procedures are rarely utilized appropriately.

A team of researchers from Queen Mary University in London analyzed the ability of 145 different measures to predict diabetes. They found that age, ethnicity, obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol were all strong indicators of future risk. However, the findings also indicated that these measures are not utilized often enough in clinical settings.

Beyond simply predicting whether or not someone will develop diabetes, the researchers said cholesterol testing and other measures can help individuals determine if they need to make lifestyle changes that could enable them to avoid the condition entirely.

"The big take home message was that despite there being vast numbers of risk prediction models, hardly any of them were in use in clinical practice or by members of the public," said lead researcher Douglas Noble. "The best ones represent a big opportunity for people to spot whether they are at high risk of developing diabetes and if so to take urgent action to reduce their risk."
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