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Study offers hope for predicting heart disease risk in type 2 diabetes

2 mins read

  • Researchers have identified 13 biomarkers that increase the accuracy of predicting heart disease risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Since the risk of heart disease is double for those with diabetes, creating accurate prediction tools is essential for healthcare providers to identify people who are at the highest risk for heart disease.
  • This study is one of the most comprehensive reviews of predicting heart disease risk in people with type 2 diabetes, offering hope to those at risk. 

An international team of researchers has identified 13 biomarkers that significantly enhance the accuracy of predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, commonly known as heart disease, in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The study, published in Communications Medicine, tackles the difficulty of identifying those with type 2 diabetes who are at high risk of developing heart disease. 

The likelihood of developing heart disease is twice as high compared to those without diabetes, so the study aimed to address a critical public health challenge to help healthcare professionals better identify individuals with type 2 diabetes who are at a high risk of developing heart disease.

Understanding the challenge

The researcher’s goal was to identify promising markers that could improve heart disease risk prediction in people with type 2 diabetes, looking beyond traditional diagnostic factors like hypertension and smoking. 

The study reviewed over 9000 studies published between 1990 and 2021, examining differences between individuals with type 2 diabetes who experienced heart disease and those who did not. Overall, the researchers analysed 195 biomarkers across over 400 published studies. 

Key findings from the study

Out of the 195 biomarkers studied, researchers identified 13 biomarkers that significantly improve the accuracy of predicting heart disease risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

One of those biomarkers showed particular promise: the peptide hormone NT-proBNP, used to monitor heart failure status in patients. The team found that higher levels of NT-proBNP in the body correlated with a higher risk of heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. 

“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”, says co-senior author of the analysis Ronald Ma, professor of diabetes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to those without diabetes.”

Key takeaways and future implications

Despite the limitation of the European-centric study, findings show the potential to transform medical care for people with type 2 diabetes. The discovery and validation of biomarkers could enable more tailored treatments, ensuring people at higher risk of heart disease receive necessary preventive care. 

This comprehensive study opens avenues for future research to identify risk factors for heart disease and improve prevention strategies. The findings from this study address a critical public health challenge and, coupled with early intervention and blood sugar management or working towards achieving type 2 diabetes remission, promise improved outcomes in heart disease risk factors for people with type 2 diabetes.

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