Options for type 2 diabetes risk prediction

Contact persons:  Dr. Catarina Schiborn, Dr. Anna Birukov

With the help of the DIRIKO study, risk communication with the DRT is to be improved in the future. (Photo: David Ausserhofer/DIfE)

The aim of a type 2 diabetes risk test is to accurately predict the risk of developing diabetes. One of these models is the DIfE – GERMAN DIABETES RISK SCORE (DRT). The DRT was developed at the DIfE in 2007 and enables a precise prediction of the 5-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes, based on non-invasively ascertainable risk factors. The test is also a central element of our research within the German Center for Diabetes Research e.V. (DZD). Here, we focus on further improvements of the predictive quality through new risk factors, the extension to predict diabetes-specific complications and the implementation of the DRT in different prevention settings.

The DRT includes modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. The original version was based on dietary and other lifestyle factors as well as demographic and anthropometric aspects. In recent years, we have investigated metabolic markers, genetic markers and family history of diabetes as potentially useful model extensions, using data from the EPIC-Potsdam study.

A major goal of our research on the DRT was its extension to predict cardiovascular disease. In contrast to existing prediction models for cardiovascular disease, we again aimed for a non-invasive test that can also be used outside clinical practice.

The updated DRT as well as the new DIfE - Cardiovascular Disease Risk Test are available both as a paper questionnaire and as an online test.

In addition, the data collection within the EPIC-DZD studies will allow a potential extension of the DRT to predict microvascular complications of diabetes in the future.

In addition to the further development, we will conduct studies on the implementation of the DRT in different prevention settings. For example, with the DIRIKO study we are pursuing the goal of comparing different forms of risk communication with the DRT with regard to the associated risk perception of the users. The results of this online study form the basis for a future improvement of risk communication with the DRT.


Individual Projects

  • Novel predictors of diabetes, DZD – BMBF/State of Brandenburg
  • Implementation of the German Diabetes Risk Score, DZD – BMBF/State of Brandenburg
  • Risk factors for the incidence of macro- and microvascular diseases in diabetes and prediction of complications, DZD – BMBF/State of Brandenburg