Researchers from the Queens Mary University of London were able to identify that a greater quantity of fat around the heart is associated with significantly greater chances of developing diabetes, irrespective of a person's sex, age and BMI, by using a new tool.
Over 45,000 people, including members in the UK Biobank, a database of health information from over 500,000 people from throughout the UK, were used to evaluate the AI algorithm's ability to understand images from heart MRI scans. The researchers found that the AI programme could correctly assess the quantity of fat around the heart in the photos and determine a patient's diabetes risk.
“A greater quantity of fat around the heart is associated with significantly greater chances of diabetes.“
Dr Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, the lead researcher from the Queen Mary University of London, stated: “Unfortunately, manual measurement of the amount of fat around the heart is challenging and time-consuming. For this reason, to date, no one has been able to investigate this thoroughly in studies of large groups of people. To address this problem, we’ve invented an AI tool that can be applied to standard heart MRI scans to obtain a measure of the fat around the heart automatically and quickly in under 3 seconds. This tool can be used by future researchers to discover more about the links between the fat around the heart and disease risk, but also potentially in the future, as part of a patient’s standard care in hospital.”