Genetic risk scores to help predict type 2 diabetes

Published On 2022-05-21 04:45 GMT   |   Update On 2022-05-21 08:39 GMT

The common genetic changes associated with type 2 diabetes have been extensively studied. However, it is not known whether all previous findings can be applied to people of south Asian ancestry, who are disproportionately affected yet also underrepresented in genetic studies.according to a new study published in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, combining a genetic risk score with...

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The common genetic changes associated with type 2 diabetes have been extensively studied. However, it is not known whether all previous findings can be applied to people of south Asian ancestry, who are disproportionately affected yet also underrepresented in genetic studies.

according to a new study published in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, combining a genetic risk score with a clinical risk score improved the prediction of type 2 diabetes in British Pakistani and British Bangladeshi individuals, especially in the young.

Out of 338 genetic loci identified, just 76 (22.5%) were transferable to the study population of British Pakistanis and British Bangladeshis. The team then constructed a type 2 diabetes polygenic risk score for the population in the study. The tool was particularly effective in assessing risk in British Pakistani and British Bangladeshi people under the age of 40 , and also in predicting the development of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes.

Finally, the polygenic risk score was able to elucidate disease subgroups which are linked to differences in the risk of future diabetes complications.

Researchers concluded that their work highlights the importance of greater representation of diverse ancestry groups in genetic studies of type 2 diabetes.  The polygenic risk score has multiple potential uses, but importantly, it helped identify young, otherwise healthy, individuals who were in fact living at high risk of type 2 diabetes.

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