New test could lead to more targetted diabetes testing

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A new test to help diagnoses diabetes could lead to more effective diagnosis and patient care, scientists say.

A team from the University of Exeter have developed a genetic test that can help doctors to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes in young adults. The research, published in the journal Diabetes Care, describes a genetic risk score which can help identify people between 20 and 40 who will require insulin treatment.

"This will be an important addition to correctly classifying individuals with diabetes and will improve the number of people who get the right treatment when they are first diagnosed, especially people who sit in the overlap between type 1 and type 2 diagnosis," said Dr Richard Oram, a specialist in Diabetes and Nephrology at the University of Exeter Medical School.

"There is often no going back once insulin treatment starts. This may save people with Type 2 diabetes from being treated with insulin unnecessarily, but also stop the rare but serious occurrence of people with Type 1 being initially treated with tablets inappropriately and running of the risk of severe illness."

The test measures 30 genetic variants in DNA and combines all the risks associated with them in a single score.

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