Signs of a chronic, low-grade inflammation precede the development of type II, or adult onset, diabetes, according to results from a nationwide study. The new finding could lead to earlier detection of those at risk of the disease.
"The results are persuasive evidence that inflammation is at least part of the cause of diabetes," says study coauthor Paul M. Ridker of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Type II diabetes occurs when people become resistant to their own insulin and can't regulate the concentration of sugar in their blood.
The researchers examined a subset of women in an ongoing study of heart disease. In the first 4 years of the study, 188 women in this subset developed diabetes. The researchers compared these women's medical records to those of 362 participants of similar ages without diabetes.