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More Genes Implicated in Type 2 Diabetes
Date:6/27/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have located 12 new genes that seem to be linked with a predisposition for type 2 diabetes, bringing the total number of genetic locations implicated in the condition to 38.

At this point, the findings don't mean much for patients or doctors, although one day they may lead to better treatments.

"From here, to apply this clinically is going to be many more years," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"It is tough to pull clinical relevance out of [these types of studies], but this is laying the groundwork for what can come later," added Jacob L. McCauley, an assistant professor at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. "The size of this study is what's impressive. This provides a lot of power that in time these results will have medical relevance."

Also, Zonszein pointed out, these genes only relate to a predisposition for developing diabetes, not actually having or getting diabetes.

"Environmental factors are the other 50 percent of the story," he said.

And those environmental factors are well known. The most important is being overweight or obese.

According to the study authors, who publish their report in the June 27 online edition of Nature Genetics, the genes related to type 2 diabetes that are already known represent less than 10 percent of the total genetic picture of this disease.

"The majority of people with type 2 diabetes don't have a monogenetic [traceable to one gene] disease. These are only 4 to 5 percent," Zonszein said. "Most have a very complex polygenic disease."

And each of the genomic regions identified in this study lend only a small increase to the risk of diabetes.

These researchers, from Europe and North Ameri
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