Insulin Changes Occur Years Before Diabetes
Study Reveals Timeline of Prediabetes
Early Intervention Is Key
Diabetes specialist Sue Kirkman, MD, tells WebMD that the research confirms that the progression to diabetes occurs over many years and not just a few.
Kirkman serves as vice president of clinical affairs for the American Diabetes Association.
“The earlier we can identify people at risk and intervene, the better off they are likely to be,” she says.
But the new study may not help find at-risk patients any earlier, an accompanying editorial in The Lancet suggests.
David Matthews, MD, and Jonathan Levy, MD, of the U.K.’s Oxford Center for Diabetes write that the prediction model is not specific or sensitive enough to identify patients years before they have clinically recognized disease.
“Does this mean that we can find those who are about to get diabetes -- perhaps even 3 or 4 years ahead?” We fear not,” they write. "... However, we might at last begin to use insulin concentrations interpreted into beta-cell function and insulin resistance as another marker of risk -- and we know that we have proven advice and therapies that we can give.”