Scientists say they have discovered a gene responsible for increasing a person's likelihood of contracting type 1 diabetes.
In an article published Sunday in the journal Nature, researchers said people with a variation of the gene are as much as 50 percent more likely to suffer from type 1 diabetes.
That sort of diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes because it is often diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.
Researchers say the ability to forecast a vulnerability to diabetes would allow doctors to intervene in time to lessen its impact on patients.
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable disease in which the body destroys its cells which produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose.
Those with the disease have a higher risk of heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and other medical problems.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.