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Following a positive HbA1c test for diabetes, individuals can expect to experience a number of health complications. Anywhere from 85 to 90 percent of these individuals will at some point develop kidney disease, retinopathy or cardiovascular problems. However, a new study is attempting to help patients avoid these potentially fatal complications by looking at what protects the 10 to 15 percent of diabetics who never develop these diseases.
Researchers from Lund University say they will follow a group of diabetic patients for a period of 30 years. During this time the participants will have their DNA tested and answer surveys about their lifestyle. The researchers hope that clues as to what protects that small percentage of diabetic patients will emerge.
The study plans to follow participants for 30 years because researchers say that if someone does not develop a complication within this time period, they most likely will never experience diabetes-related setbacks. This will help them identify those who have the least risk.
"The majority of diabetics will over time develop severe or fatal complications, but 10 to 15 per cent never do. They are the ones we are interested in," said Valeriya Lyssenko, who will lead the investigation. Clearly they are different and we want to find out what it is that protects them."
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