Advantages of the test
The Diabetes Risk Score was created in 2007, and since then it has been continuously developed further by DIfE and DZD scientists. The test is based on the data of the Potsdam EPIC** study, a long-term study of diet and health, in which more than 27,000 women and men are participating. By means of the test, adults can easily, quickly and very precisely determine their personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next five years. One of the main advantages of the online test is that at the end of the test you are given individually customized recommendations on how to reduce your risk. You can try out directly how much you can influence your risk, for example by lowering the value you entered for your waist circumference, or by increasing your value for whole wheat bread consumption. Another new feature is that you can compare your test result on a graph with an average person of the same age and sex. This helps you to better assess your personal result in the appropriate context.
Why it’s important to know your personal diabetes risk
The disease develops slowly over years so that it is often detected too late – namely not until there is already end organ damage. Whoever takes the test and detects an elevated or even a high risk can undertake measures to counteract the outbreak of the disease and even undergo diabetic drug treatment if necessary. The disease and the resulting damage can be prevented or at least significantly delayed by early and targeted preventive or therapeutic measures. You can find out how to take simple measures to prevent the disease at .
Type 2 diabetes and its serious consequences
In Germany around six million people are affected by diabetes. Of these, more than 90 percent suffer from type 2 diabetes. This is not a trivial disorder – if untreated it can lead to blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart attacks or stroke. According to the Robert Koch Institute, diabetes is one of the most expensive chronic diseases and burdens the German health system with costs running into the billions ***.
K. Mühlenbruch et al. 2014: Update of the German Diabetes Risk Score and External Validation in the German MONICA/KORA study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice (doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2014.03.013)
K. Mühlenbruch et al. 2014: Vorhersage des Risikos für Typ-2-Diabetes in der deutschen Bevölkerung mit dem aktualisierten DRT (DIfE – DEUTSCHER DIABETES-RISIKO-TEST®). Ernährungsumschau 6/2014; p. 90ff, M306
* The DIfE – GERMAN DIABETES RISK SCORE is available both as online test and in two different questionnaire versions for private individuals or patients. The test was validated using data of the Heidelberg EPIC study, the Tübingen Family Study for Type 2 Diabetes, the study “Metabolic Syndrome Berlin Potsdam” and the MONICA/KORA study (MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease/Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg). All test versions enable a very precise determination of the individual diabetes risk of a person for the next five years. The test was developed by DIfE using public funds (Federal Government, State of Brandenburg, European Union). The further development of the test is taking place within the framework of DZD research.
** EPIC: European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The EPIC study is a prospective study which investigates the relationships between diet, cancer and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Twenty-three administrative centers in ten European countries with a total of 519,000 adult participants are involved in the study. The Potsdam EPIC study, with more than 27,000 participants, is part of the EPIC study.
*** GBE Compact: Statistics and Trends from the Health Report of the Federal Government; Diabetes mellitus; Robert Koch Institute 3/2011 Vol. 2 (in German only)
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The German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE) is a member of the Leibniz Association. It investigates the causes of diet-related diseases in order to develop new strategies for prevention and therapy and to provide dietary recommendations. Its research focus includes the causes and consequences of the metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and lipid metabolism disorder, as well as the role of diet in healthy aging and the biological basis of food choices and eating habits. More information at www.dife.de. In addition, the DIfE is a partner of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), which was founded in 2009 and has since been funded by the BMBF. More information on the DZD can be found at .
The Leibniz Association is the umbrella organization for 88 independent research institutions whose spectrum encompasses the natural, engineering and environmental sciences, economics, the spatial and social sciences as well as the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, also in the overarching Leibniz research networks, as well as maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association sets priorities in knowledge transfer, in particular with the Leibniz research museums. It provides advice and information for policymakers, academia, business and industry and the general public. Leibniz Institutes collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “Leibniz Science Campi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners in Germany and abroad. They are subject to a standard-setting, transparent and independent evaluation procedure. Due to the importance of the Leibniz Institutes for Germany as a whole, they are funded jointly by the federal government and state governments, employing some 18,100 individuals, including 9,200 researchers. The overall budget of the institutes amounts to more than EUR 1.6 billion. More information at .
Prof. Dr. Matthias Schulze
Department of Molecular Epidemiology
German Institute of Human Nutrition
phone: +49 33200 88-2434