Swedish researchers have found a new type of biomarker that could help to predict type 2 diabetes risk. This biomarker detects epigenetic changes in certain genes with a blood test. Therefore, measuring HbA1c levels could have some benefit in predicting the onset of diabetes.
In the study, it was found that Finnish patients who had higher DNA methylation levels in the GNPNAT1, FHL2, ZNF518B, and HLTF genes had lower risks of type 2 diabetes and higher insulin secretion after ten years. Increased insulin secretion protects against type 2 diabetes, meaning that studying the levels in these genes could be an indicator of future diabetes risk.
These findings were published in Nature Communications on March 31, 2016.