By Don Rauf
Diabetes greatly increases the possibility of having a heart attack or stroke. Early detection and treatment, however, can prevent further progression of the disease.
People with diabetes can have too much blood sugar in their system, which in time can damage blood vessels and nerves. Those with prediabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels that can lead to diabetes if left untreated.
By using a common blood test, scientists have recently found that they can identify the likelihood of developing diabetes earlier than the current standard approach for detecting prediabetes.
"Take a blood test to check for diabetes before it develops."
Nataly Lerner, in the Department of Family Medicine at Tel-Aviv University in Israel and her colleagues, analyzed data on 10,201 patients, who had not been diagnosed with diabetes but who had received an HbA1c blood test between 2002 and 2005. Within five to eight years, 22.5 percent of these individuals developed diabetes.
HbA1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous three months. The test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
The HbA1c test is a standard way for diagnosing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association and the World Health Organization both advocate its use. ...more