New test may predict risk of Type 2 diabetes

9/17/2009

NEW YORK The level of sex hormone-binding globulin in the body may be a biological marker for Type 2 diabetes, according to reports.

SHBG, once known for storing extra sex hormones, may protect an individual from developing Type 2 diabetes. According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people with low SHBG have a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the researchers suggest that a person's SHBG level may be an important factor in determining Type 2 diabetes risk and the need for early treatment.

Eric L. Ding, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health looked at data collected during the Women's Health Study from healthy, postmenopausal female health professionals who did not receive hormone therapy. Over the course of the study, 359 of these women developed Type 2 diabetes. They were compared with 359 study participants who did not develop diabetes.

"Sex hormone-binding globulin may have a causal role in the risk of Type 2 diabetes," concluded Ding and colleagues.

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