For some time now, doctors have been aware that type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders often go hand-in-hand.
In a paper published by the American Diabetes Association, a research group including Henrik Enghusen Poulsen and Laura Kofoed Kjær argue that a simple urine test can predict who is in the high-risk zone, reports Videnskab.dk.
At the moment, diabetes treatment is based on Danish studies that show patients have the greatest chance of survival if a number of factors are treated simultaneously.
“We hope that we can zero in on those who have a specific need for help rather than using a scatter-gun approach to treating patients,” say the researchers.
Type-2 diabetes is a disease that hits a number of organs, as well as both large and small blood vessels. It is especially prevalent in the eyes, kidneys, nerves, feet and heart.
If it is to be treated effectively there has to be a way of measuring the condition of the various organs and the body as a whole. The new test will accomplish that, say the researchers.
It’s in the RNA
The research showed that RNA damage is a decisive factor when it comes to mortality in type-2 diabetes patients.
Like DNA, RNA is a polymeric molecule essential for various biological roles in the coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes. Unlike DNA, it does not have a defence mechanism and, because it exists outside the nucleus of a cell, can be vulnerable to oxidation damage.
The urine test is able to detect damage to a person’s RNA.
“We hope that our method can contribute to patients being put into more targeted treatment groups where they are given medicine aimed directly at them: personal medicine.”
The next step is to find a treatment method that lowers RNA oxidisation. That way, patients can be helped and not just be given an estimate of when they are going to die.