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UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
Date:8/14/2007

In the first large scale, multiethnic study of its kind, researchers at UCLA have confirmed the role played by three particular molecules known as cytokines as a cause of Type 2 diabetes, and further, have identified these molecules as early biological markers that may be used to more accurately predict future incidences of diabetes among apparently healthy individuals.

Reporting in the August 15 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology and medicine with a joint appointment in the School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and colleagues have identified three inflammatory cytokines (cytokines are messenger molecules) tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-); interleukin-6 (IL-6); and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) that may be one of the causes of type 2 diabetes which afflicts roughly seven percent of the U.S. population.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes; about 90 to 95 percent of people who have diabetes have type 2. People with this condition produce insulin, but either their bodies dont make enough of it, or can?t effectively use it.

Low-grade chronic inflammation of the body, which is reflected by elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines in the blood stream, may promote insulin resistance in the liver, muscles, and the vascular endothelium cells, the layer of thin, flat cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels. Such inflammation can last for years before leading to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or hypertension.

A blood test that looks for high levels of inflammatory cytokines could serve as an accurate predictor of diabetes in still-healthy people, years ahead of the traditional risk factors of obesity or insulin resistance. The finding also has implication for cancer research as well, said Liu, since people with diabetes are at greater risk of developing breast and colon cancers.

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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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