Questions and Answers

  • Who can participate?

At the beginning (in the 90's), we invited all patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and their relatives (irrespective of having diabetes or not) from certain areas. That time reporting itself to the study for participation was possible. Currently, we concentrate on participants and families that are already involved in the study. However, we still take near relatives of the present participants. The PPP-Botnia-study invited every tenth 18-75-year-old person in the population register from a certain area of Ostrobothnia. The follow-up PPP-Botnia-study comprises of only these participants. Our FinnMODY study is recruiting MODY and MIDD patients in Finland. Please visit here for more information.

  • Do I have diabetes?

You have diabetes if your blood sugar: fasting plasma glucose is ≥ 7 mmol/lafter at least 8 hours of fasting in the night or two-hour plasma glucose≥ 11.1mmol/l after oral glucose tolerance test. To confirm the diagnosis, a second test is repeated on the same blood sample or a different test is performed without delay using a new blood sample.

  • If my relatives do have diet or tablet base treatment, can it be diabetes?

Certainly! Most of the diabetics of type 2 are managing the illness with a diet or tablets. Commonly it is believed that "they do not have diabetes but only a bit risen blood sugar". However, usually it is a question of diabetes. A large number of people who do not know that they are having diabetes also exists.

  • My mom has diabetes, should I take some control measures?

Yes. If there is T2D in one of the parents, the child has a 40% risk to develop it (if both parents have T2D, the risk is 80%). Moreover, if you are overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and not physically active, it further increases your risk. Therefore, it is important to focus on diet and exercise. It is advisable to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in a week (for e.g., brisk walking).

  • What are the chances that my children will have diabetes?

If you have T2D, your children have a 40% risk to develop T2D. If your spouse also has diabetes, the risk becomes 80%. If you have type 1 diabetes (T1D) and are a woman, your children have a 4% risk to develop T1D. If you are a man, the risk for the same be a little greater than 6%. If you have MODY diabetes, the risk of your child having it is 50%.

  • Why cannot I have the results of my DNA test?

In the current times, thousands of different DNA analyses exists. However, we only perform certain analyses to all participants and further only chosen ones to smaller groups. Whenever a new gene connected to diabetes comes out, we analyse the DNA of certain individuals again. From these analyses, we can only say that a certain form of gene mildly increase the risk diabetes at the population level. However, the risk is so small that it does not often mean increased risk of diabetes at individual level without any other simultaneous risky gene type. We cannot interpret the significance of the DNA results at the individual level at present. Therefore, we do not provide results to participants. If we find DNA mutations that are known to increase the risk of diabetes (for example the MODY mutations), we inform the participant in question.

  • Why cannot I have results from insulin and GAD antibody?

We do not analyse these samples immediately after the study visit. We analyse these with a large number of other samples, which therefore, can take a long time from the collection of sample. For insulin, normal reference values do not exist, in contrast to well defined reference values for blood glucose, for e.g. , fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7mmol/l that people as having diabetes or not having diabetes. Accordingly, it is difficult to interpret individual person's levels of insulin. Similarly, no such reference levels are available for the GAD antibodies. Moreover, the significance of the finding antibodies is also not clear either. Hence, we follow participants who have antibodies so that we would see if these antibodies affect the risk of developing diabetes or other clinical expressions.

  • How would I know that I have diabetes? What are the symptoms?

Often any symptoms do not appear. If the sugar values are especially high, that might appear as tiredness, increased thirst, and increase frequency of passing urine. Most patient with T2D have had diabetes without their knowledge for a long time. The diagnosis of the T2D requires a blood test. You have diabetes if fasting plasma glucose is ≥ 7 mmol/lafter at least 8 hours of fasting in the night or two-hour plasma glucose≥ 11.1 mmol/l after oral glucose tolerance test.

  • What is the meaning of high blood pressure? What are diastolic and systolic blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the measure of how strongly and at which pace (a pulsation/a pulse) the heart pumps blood in blood vessels, the diameter of blood vessels, and the flexibility of the walls in heart. It is normal that if you run fast, the blood pressure will rise. Instead, it will be abnormal if the blood pressure stays high in rest or also even in a slight stress - then one has high blood pressure. Over the time, increased blood pressure damage the walls of blood vessels that become stiffer than normal and the blood pressure rises even higher. Consequently, the heart must work harder than before in order to pump blood against the pressure. This leads to damage to the wall of heart and decreasing their flexibility. The blood pressure is the highest when the heart pumps blood out in blood vessels- this iscalled a systolic blood pressure. When the heart becomes full before pumping, the blood pressure is lower than when it is pumping blood to blood vessels and this is called diastolic blood pressure.

  • When will I get the results from the study?

You will get the results usually within two months. The samples that laboratories of local health care center analyze are available faster than analyzed centrally. For comparability of samples from different health care centers, we analyze most of the samples centrally in Helsinki, where we send samples at the intervals of two months. After the result are completed, our doctor goes through the results and provides statement. Then answering letters are prepared and send to participants. In cases of special studies, this might take a longer time.

  • Why does insulin rise the blood sugar?

False. Insulin transfers sugarr or blood glucose into the cells of the body that cells use as energy. However, it is true that people who have T2D (or risk getting T2D in the future) have usually increased levels of insulin in their blood. Their organs are insensitive to the insulin. In other words, they need more insulin to transfer the same amount of blood glucose into the cells as was done earlier.