Experts estimate that diabetes will affect 300 million people around the world in the year 2025, because it is a chronic disease whose incidence is increasing. In addition, it is expected that more and more patients will develop this pathology at an early age, during childhood or adolescence, which aggravates the long-term prognosis, since diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Another problem highlighted by experts is that there are many people who suffer from diabetes without knowing it. Therefore, they point out the need to use new markers to identify the presence of the disease as soon as possible. Generally, the diagnosis is obtained with the determination of the level of glucose in blood, but the main scientific societies also endorse the use of the determination of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), because they consider that this marker better detects the presence and severity of the disease.

The specialists point out the need to use new markers to identify the presence of the disease as soon as possible

Dr. Roser Casamitjana, member of the Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology and the Service of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, ​​explains that there are currently several tests that allow to specify what type of diabetes is treated - type 1, type 2, or monogenic-, and also diagnose the possible presence of an insulinoma (an endocrine tumor of the pancreas that causes hypoglycemia in those affected). This expert points out that it is essential to diagnose diabetes early to start as soon as possible a treatment that allows to control the disease effectively, avoiding or delaying the risks associated with this pathology.

Thanks to the advances that have taken place in Molecular Genetic, the genes involved in the development of diabetes have been identified, and the implication of the gastroitestinal hormones in the secretion of insulin is better known, which facilitates the detection of the disease and will contribute to the development of more specific drugs in the future. In the case of neonatal diabetesFor example, one can predict how the disease will evolve with a molecular study, which is indicated when it is considered to be a permanent diabetes. Dr. Casamitjana has also stressed that it is necessary to unify the diagnostic criteria of gestational diabetes to know its true prevalence and treat the condition properly, because it has very important consequences on the health of the pregnant and the fetus.

Source: Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology (SEQC)

Health Predictions: the future of healthcare (ISCF - Ageing Society) (November 2019).