Type 2 Diabetes Genetic Variants Predict Early Death

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Researchers found a higher genetic risk among obese non-Hispanic whites.
Researchers found a higher genetic risk among obese non-Hispanic whites.

HealthDay News — Type 2 diabetes (T2D)-related genetic variants predict all-cause mortality, even after adjustment for body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Aaron Leong, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between T2D-related genetic variants and mortality. Mortality risk was modeled using a genetic risk score (GRS) from a weighted sum of risk alleles at 38 T2D-related single nucleotide polymorphisms. The correlation with mortality was assessed in 6,501 participants, in age-, sex-, and BMI-adjusted models.

The researchers found that 1,556 participants died over 17 years. GRS correlated with mortality risk (odds ratio, 1.04 per T2D-associated risk allele; P = 0.05). GRS correlated positively with mortality risk in non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations, but not in Mexican-Americans. The negative trend in Mexican-Americans was primarily due to those with BMI <25 mg/m². The positive association in non-Hispanic whites was strongest among those with BMI ≥30 kg/m².

"In the United States, a higher T2D genetic risk was associated with increased mortality risk, especially among obese non-Hispanic whites," the authors write. "The underlying genetic basis for mortality likely involves complex interactions with factors related to ethnicity, T2D, and body weight."


  1. Leong A, Porneala B, Dupuis J, et al. Type 2 Diabetes Genetic Predisposition, Obesity, and All-Cause Mortaltiy Risk in the US: A Multiethnic Analysis. Diabetes Care. 2016; doi:10.2337/dc15-2080.
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