Personalised medicine in type 2 prevention

PERSONALISED medicine is a buzz phrase these days. But there’s a long way to go before we can effectively use it to prevent new cases of diabetes from developing. That’s the argument laid out by Professor Allen M. Spiegel and Professor Meredith Hawkins in the January issue of Health Affairs.

While obesity, impaired fasting blood sugar and family history are all known risk factors for type 2 diabetes, they are actually relatively inefficient predictors of the disease, the authors assert. 

Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about one in four US adults has an impaired fasting blood glucose level, but the annual rate of new diabetes cases among those individuals is reported to be less than 2%.

Meanwhile, in certain populations, such as South Asians, intra-abdominal fat deposits may lead to severe insulin resistance, and eventual type 2 diabetes, at body mass indexes that fall below the cut-off