Bjoern Ludwar publishes article on a new method to access diabetes risk

JDST_journalOver 29 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, suffer from diabetes. Having diabetes means that your body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels. This often leads to serious health complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and vascular problems requiring limb amputations. Patients are typically first diagnosed in their early 50s – often too late to change the course of the disease through lifestyle intervention. Through early diagnosis and early changes in diet and exercise, many of the negative side effects of diabetes could be prevented. An article published this week in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology and co-authored by Dr. Bjoern Ludwar and his student Mahelet Mamo of the Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences presents an exciting new approach to solve this problem. The study compares the symmetry of left and right hand fingerprint patterns in patients diagnosed with diabetes along with healthy controls. The authors find that asymmetry scores related to fingerprint pattern can predict the risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Ludwar’s lab was responsible for developing a novel wavelet-based analysis technique for fingerprint data that proved more reliable for risk prediction than other techniques. The findings of the paper could eventually lead to the development of a cost effective and a potentially cell phone based application to determine risk for developing diabetes and associated health problems later in life.

Morris MR, Ludwar BC, Swingle E, Mamo MN, Shubrook JH. “A New Method to Assess Asymmetry in Fingerprints Could Be Used as an Early Indicator of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016 PMID: 26830490





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