Diabetes Current Affairs - 2019
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A study in China has shown that Air pollution raises diabetes risk in China. The findings of the study were based on the data collected from over 88,000 people across 15 provinces, estimating their exposure to PM2.5 based on satellite data from 2004 to 2015.
The study was conducted by researchers from Fuwai Hospital in Beijing and Emory University in the US and was published online by journal Environment International.
Findings of the Study
- Long-term exposure to harmful smog particles increases the risk of diabetes, The study provides evidence for a link between the country’s air pollution and the disease.
- Increased prosperity has resulted in changing diets and lifestyles, along with an air pollution crisis that the World Health Organization estimates causes over a million premature deaths every year.
- The risk of diabetes rose by about 16 per cent for an increase of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre in long-term PM2.5 particle exposure.
- Similar studies in North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Taiwan have shown links between air pollution with diabetes.
Unites Nations study published in 2017 noted that China is facing the largest diabetes problem in the world with around 11 per cent of its population suffering from metabolic illness. It is expected that the sustained improvement of air quality will help decrease the diabetes epidemic in China.
A study by the scientists from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune indicates levels of free albumin and albumin attached to glucose molecules in the blood can be a better diagnostic test for diabetes.
Most tests at present, use levels of glycated (or glucose-bound) haemoglobin in blood for diagnosis of diabetes. This is subject to large variations due to factors like stress levels, time of collection, diet and medications taken previous day etc.
Glycation refers to the process of binding of glucose to protein or lipid molecules. The glucose molecules get attached to the Hemoglobin in the blood. The level of glucose bound haemoglobin indicates the diabetic condition of an individual.
Challenges with the current procedure
The average lifespan of the Hemoglobin is four months. Hence the test results predict the diabetic condition of an individual from the previous four months.
The levels of glycated haemoglobin in blood are influenced by many factors like anaemia, iron deficiency, pregnancy. Hence the current results may not necessarily indicate accurate results.
The new researches have shown that glycation of both albumin and haemoglobin occurs at lower levels of albumin in blood. When the albumin level decreases or gets saturated with bound glucose, other proteins like haemoglobin are exposed to glucose and their glycation increases. Hence it is predicted that levels of albumin and glycated albumin can also help in predicting the onset of diabetes.
The new study proposes albumin and glycated albumin levels quantified in conjunction with glycated haemoglobin can provide for better diagnosis and management of diabetes.