Signs of possible diabetes can be seen decades earlier in childhood

22 July 2020

Early signs of being more susceptible to type 2 diabetes as an adult can be seen in children as young as eight years, research has found.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, tracked over 4000 participants in Children of the 90s – a health study established at the University of Bristol in the early 1990s.

The research looked at the effects of a genetic risk score for developing type 2 diabetes as an adult, on metabolism.

It was measured using blood samples taken from participants (generally free of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases) at age eight, 16, 18 and 25.

The differences found, such as certain types of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol being reduced at age eight, widened over time.

‘Knowing what these early signs look like widens our window of opportunity to intervene much earlier and stop diabetes before it becomes harmful,’ said lead author Dr Joshua Bell. 

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