People with type 2 diabetes could soon be offered a new blood test which may be able to detect if they are at risk of developing cardiovascular and kidney disease, research claims.
Scientists have created a new blood test which can identify high levels of four biomarkers – biological signposts that are linked to the development of cardiovascular and kidney complications.
According to the study, people with type 2 diabetes who take canagliflozin had lower levels of the four biomarkers compared to those taking an alternative drug.
Canagliflozin prevented people at risk of cardiovascular problems from being hospitalised with heart failure or another heart-related issue, the research has reported.
Primary author Professor James Januzzi said: “High levels of certain biomarkers are indicators of heart and kidney complications, and may help predict future risk of disease progression.
“Treatment with canagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, lowered [the rise in] biomarker levels and reduced the risk of hospitalisation for heart failure and other heart complications in people at the highest risk.”
Blood tests are used to measure biomarkers to screen, test or diagnose certain health conditions.
During the study, the team of researchers examined the blood of 2,627 adults, all of whom took part in the Canagliflozin and Renal Events in Diabetes with Established Nephropathy Clinical Evaluation (Credence) trial.
They assessed how well each biomarker was at highlighting different levels of renal and cardiovascular problems.
The participants were categorised into different groups based on how at risk they were at developing renal or cardiovascular complications.
By identifying those at risk of problems, the researchers could prescribe canagliflozin to those at the highest risk after finding that the drug can combat the development of cardiovascular and kidney disease.
“It was reassuring to discover that canagliflozin helped reduce risks the most in people with the highest chances for complications,” said Professor Januzzi.
He added: “Future studies are needed to better understand how type 2 diabetes in conjunction with kidney disease develops and progresses so that we may initiate life-saving therapies earlier, before symptoms of heart and kidney disease have occurred.
“Given that the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology and the American Diabetes Association now all recommend measurement of biomarkers to enhance ability to predict risk in persons with type 2 diabetes, these results may considerably extend the reach of biomarker-based testing, refining accuracy even further.”
Read the study in the journal Circulation.