Type 2 diabetes is estimated to affect 462 million people worldwide

An international academic consortium led by Johns Hopkins University, US, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Lund University, Sweden, has identified 13 biomarkers that improve the ability to accurately predict the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted by 23 experts across 11 countries as part of an international partnership between the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the Precision Medicine in Diabetes Initiative.

Estimated to affect around 462 million people globally, type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes too much sugar in the blood.

Patients living with the condition are two times more likely to go on to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those without diabetes.

Researchers reviewed and analysed the medical studies published from 1990 onward that investigated the differences between people with type 2 diabetes who also experienced cardiovascular disease and those who did not.

The team extracted data on 321 biomarkers and discovered that 13 of them were significantly associated with cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

More specifically, the biomarker N-terminal pro-b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), which is currently used to monitor heart failure status in patients, correlated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

One study involving 16,000 patients found a 64% hazard rate increase for every deviation increase of NT-proBNP.

Maria Gomez, research group leader at the Lund University Diabetes Centre and professor of physiology at Lund University, said: “It’s important to identify readily available ways to accurately classify patients so that those at higher risk of cardiovascular disease can receive the preventative care they need.”

“The 13 biomarkers, especially NT-proBNP, warrant further testing to evaluate their potential,” said Ronald Ma, professor of diabetes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “If future studies confirm their value in predicting cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, we may be able to change standards of care.”