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Surprising Science

Diabetes: Personalized Medicine’s Next Hurdle

After advancements in treating colon and breast cancers using personalized medical regiments based on an individual’s genetic code, researchers are looking to tackle diabetes.

What’s the Latest Development?

Given the high costs of treating diabetes, prevention is a more efficient strategy to keep people healthy. While obesity, high blood sugar and family history are known risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the search for better predictive genetic metrics is still underway. “Recently, individuals with high blood levels of three specific amino acids were shown to have a greater than 5-fold increase in diabetes risk compared to the general population, highlighting the future promise of biomarkers for disease prediction.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Medical professionals say that the financial costs of treating diabetes are so high, due in part to the large number of people with the disease, that finding a personalized way of preventing it should be a major priority. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that, in 2007, diabetes cost the U.S. $174 billion in direct and indirect costs. The problem is also global: a recent study estimated the number of worldwide cases at 347 milliona number greater than the entire U.S. population.”

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