Diabetes: twelve risk factors decoded



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A scientific study has discovered twelve new genetic risk factors for type II diabetes.

(June 28, 2010) Type II diabetes has long since developed into a so-called common disease in the highly developed industrial countries. Unhealthy lifestyle, obesity and little exercise can trigger type II diabetes. An international study has now researched twelve new genetic risk factors for the disease for the first time. The scientists also found a connection between diabetes and the X chromosome. The research results were published in the journal "Nature Genetics".

With a diabetes disease the sugar metabolism is disturbed. Risk factors such as overweight, unhealthy and high-fat diet and insufficient exercise can greatly favor type 2 diabetes. But the researchers have now also researched important genetic components that contribute to an outbreak of the disease. The scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf discovered twelve new gene variants that can favor the development of type II diabetes. A total of 38 genetic risk factors for type II diabetes are now known.

The research group consisted of a number of international scientists from Germany, England, Iceland, the USA and 8 other countries. The scientists evaluated the data from around 140,000 subjects examined. Based on this data, the researchers were able to identify 12 genetic risk factors, 11 of which are responsible for insulin production and influence the mode of action of the body's own insulin. "An important finding of the study is that some of the gene locations that are associated with a diabetes risk also contain risk variants for other diseases such as coronary heart disease, autoimmune diseases or cancer." explained Wolfgang Rathmann from the German Diabetes Center. Here, there would be signs that certain proteins are relevant for several diseases at the same time.

The study also provided important information on the question of whether men or women are at higher risk of diabetes. In the course of the study, a genetic association of type 2 diabetes with the X chromosome was demonstrated for the first time. This could hide an indication of possible differences in the risk of diabetes. Because women have two X chromosomes and men have one X and one Y chromosome.

The scientists base their study on the further development of diabetes prevention and therapy. "If we know the exact causes of the common type 2 diabetes, we can develop more effective preventive and therapeutic approaches," said Thomas Illig from the Institute of Epidemiology. In Germany alone, around six million people suffer from diabetes. However, many people affected know The study has also shown that there is nothing about their illness, which is why it can be assumed that the number of unreported diabetes sufferers from type II diabetes is likely to be significantly higher Blood test at a family doctor can quickly identify a possible diabetes. (Sb)

Also read:
Diabetes is not a fate

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