Biomarkers could help determine a child's predisposition to type 2 diabetes

A study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revealed that biomarkers could help in the early identification of a child's risk for type 2 diabetes.

Lead investigator Nancy F. Butte and her colleagues from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas conducted fine-scale mapping of a region of genes on chromosome 13. Previous research had revealed that this area may influence fasting blood glucose levels, which may indicate prediabetes or type 2 diabetes when they are elevated.

The team examined the results of DNA and fasting blood glucose tests of 1,030 Hispanic children between the ages of four and 19. These kids were participants in Viva La Familia, a multi-year research study of childhood obesity and its associated health complications.

The mapping revealed biomarkers that may be indicators of a predisposition to type 2 diabetes and may be applicable across all ethnicities.

Previously, this region of chromosome 13 had been associated with obesity in adults, but had not yet been studied in children and teenagers.

The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.