While the downstream consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have yet to be fully understood, anecdotal reports from healthcare providers across the US suggest an acceleration in type 2 diabetes.
This is undoubtedly linked to changes in lifestyle due to the lockdowns. A longitudinal cohort study on body weight changes related to “shelter in place” directives concluded that the irrespective of geographic location or comorbidities, participants gained an average of 1.5 pounds per month. [https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2777737]
This alarming trend highlights the need for diagnostic tools to screen patients for t2d, allowing healthcare providers to develop a targeted intervention strategy. The increasing rates of T2D and the burdens arising from its complications speak to the limits of current strategies for prevention.
There is ample evidence that type 2 diabetes has a strong genetic basis. Understanding the role of that a patient’s genetics as a risk factor for developing T2D can help healthcare providers with addressing some of these challenges, improving the precision on predicting disease progression and the response to therapeutic interventions.
For example, patients with a molecular diagnosis of HNF1A indicates that promoting insulin secretion through low dose sulfonylurea pills is the most effective treatment, especially early on in the disease. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5838894/] Patients with mutations in the KCNJ11 gene may improve glucose control through high-dose sulfonylurea pills. [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22385882/]
Genetic testing may also assist healthcare providers in helping patients understand their risk and provide motivation to introduce lifestyle changes, knowing that the intervention is customised to their specific polymorphism.
DIABETESpredict™ is a molecular panel that examines 16 gene variants to determine a patient’s relative risk for developing T2D.
The DIABETESpredict™ algorithm integrates genotype and phenotype data. It has been clinically validated in large population cohorts with over 8,000 patients. [AUC=0.82. Nature Scientific Reports. 2019. 9(1):2748.]
The results report provides the risk score, genotype, and recommendations on diet, physical activity, medications, supplements and laboratory tests.
- T2D risk quantification
- Patient’s genetic profile
- Mechanisms associated with the patient’s susceptibility to T2D
- Recommendations for intervention based on the patient’s genotype.
For more information about offering this valuable test to your patients, contact your Practice Development Manager.