Simple test that could identify patients at risk for diabetes

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A simple test, such as manual muscle strength, could be used as a fast, low-cost screening tool to help healthcare professionals identify patients at risk for type 2 diabetes. Scientists at the universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland measured the manual muscle strength of 776 men and women with no history of diabetes over a 20-year period and showed that the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by about 50 %, for each unit of increase of the value of the manual force. The findings were recently published in the Annals of Medicine.

Diabetes in all its forms is the 9th leading cause of death in the world. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. In the UK alone, one in ten people over the age of 40 now live with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. If nothing changes in the future, it is expected that by 2025 we will have more than five million people with diabetes.

Although old age, obesity, family history, and lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy eating, and excessive alcohol, contribute substantially to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, they do not fully explain the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. type 2 diabetes. Another important factor seems to be reduced muscle strength, which can be measured by hand strength. It has been consistently linked to early death, cardiovascular disease and disability.

Until recently, there was no convincing evidence on the relationship between manual force and type 2 diabetes. % less to develop type 2 diabetes.

However, while the results of this review suggested that manual muscle strength could be used to predict type 2 diabetes, the researchers had to test this using individual patient data. In the latest study, researchers at the Bristol School of Medicine and the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition in Eastern Finland followed 776 men and women between the ages of 60 and 72 over a 20-year period, with no history of diabetes, and measured their manual strength using a dynamometer with a handle. Patients were asked to tighten the handles of the dynamometer with the dominant hand and exert maximum isometric effort, holding it for five seconds.

An analysis of the results showed that the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by about 50% for each increase in the unit for the value of the handle power. This association persisted even after consideration of several established factors that may affect type 2 diabetes, such as age, family history of diabetes, physical activity, smoking, hypertension, waist circumference, and fasting plasma glucose. When information about handle power was added to these established factors, which are already known to predict type 2 diabetes, the prediction for this disease was further improved.

According to lead author Dr. Setor Kunutsor of the Bristol Musculoskeletal Research Unit: “These findings may have implications for the development of strategies to prevent type 2 diabetes. Assessing the handle is simple, inexpensive, requires no expertise and resources. qualified and could be used in the early identification of people at high risk for type 2 diabetes. ”

The findings appear to be more relevant for women than for men, suggesting that women are likely to benefit from the use of this potential screening tool.

The lead investigator, Professor Jari Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland, added: “These results are based on a Finnish population. Given the low number of events in our analyzes, we propose larger studies to reproduce these findings in other populations. The authors add that further research is needed to determine whether efforts to improve muscle strength, such as endurance training, are likely to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study was funded by the Biomedical Research Center at the Bristol National Institute for Health Research (NIHR Bristol BRC).

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