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Genetic Score Can Help Identify High Diabetes Risk

Last Updated: April 21, 2009.

A risk score based on 10 polymorphisms associated with diabetes can help identify those at particularly high risk for the disease, but overall such tests are not a big improvement on conventional clinical screening tests, according to a study published in the April 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A risk score based on 10 polymorphisms associated with diabetes can help identify those at particularly high risk for the disease, but overall such tests are not a big improvement on conventional clinical screening tests, according to a study published in the April 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Marilyn C. Cornelis, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 2,809 European patients with type 2 diabetes and 3,501 healthy controls, and calculated a genetic risk score for each subject.

The odds ratios for type 2 diabetes were 1.19 and 1.16, for each point of the genetic risk score, for men and women, respectively, once age and body mass index were taken into account. However, in subjects with a family history of diabetes and a genetic risk score in the highest quintile, the odds ratio for diabetes was 9.2 compared with subjects without a family history of the disease who were in the lowest quintile for genetic risk score, the researchers found.

"Information provided by a genetic risk score based on multiple variants might be combined with knowledge on environmental risk factors to identify subsets of the population at high risk for type 2 diabetes who are likely to benefit most from more aggressive preventive interventions," the authors write.

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