12 May Association of Common Herpes Viruses with PreDiabetes
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Annette Peters PhD
Chair of Epidemiology
Institute of Medical Information Sciences, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University
Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: A large number of genetic, behavioural and environmental risk factors have been identified as contributing to the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, little is known about a potential link between virus infections and type 2 diabetes developments.
We had the unique opportunity to use a multiplex assay to measure antibodies for herpes viruses by the Waterboer laboratory at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg and set out to investigate the potential associations in the prospective KORA cohort.
First of all, we detected that herpes virus antibodies were highly prevalent in the study population at baseline and increased with age.
We found an association between Herpes simplex virus 2 and cytomegalovirus and type 2 diabetes during a seven year follow-up. These associations were robust against controlling for other known risk factors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that virus infections may be important for cardiometabolic disease exacerbation and that persons with type 2 diabetes are especially vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease. Our study indicates that this may also be true for other less studied viral infections.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: From our perspective it would be important to assess the degree of herpes virus infections in the general population. It would be important to understand when they are first contracted and which role they play in concert with other risk factors. Here we ourselves are particular interested to understand their contribution to cardiometabolic disease and age-acceleration.
Woelfle, T., Linkohr, B., Waterboer, T. et al. Health impact of seven herpesviruses on (pre)diabetes incidence and HbA1c: results from the KORA cohort. Diabetologia (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-022-05704-7
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