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Study of diverse populations sheds light on Type 2 diabetes

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The Times Of India
12th May, 2022 23:02 IST

HYDERABAD: A global study of diverse populations has shed new light on how genes contribute to Type 2 Diabetes .

The study named DIAMANTE (DIAbetes Meta-Analysis of Trans-Ethnic association studies) co-led by Andrew Morris at the University of Manchester is published in Nature Genetics, the city-based CSIR – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology ( CCMB ) said in a release on Thursday.

“The study found population-specific differences in genetic susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes. These results pave the way towards development of ancestry-specific genetic risk score for risk prediction in different populations and has immense implications for Indians, where every sixth individual is a potential diabetic,” said Giriraj R Chandak , Chief Scientist at the CSIR – CCMB and one of the lead investigators from India.

According to the study, the global prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, a familial disease with severe morbidity has increased four-fold over the last three decades.

South Asia, especially India and China are major hubs of this spurt. It is thought that Indians are especially at risk of Type 2 Diabetes because they are centrally obese, meaning fat around the abdomen – indicative of fat around their visceral organs, and are more insulin resistant right from birth.

This is in contrast to the Europeans who are overall fat in a generalised manner. Despite this fact, the largest studies to understand genetic basis of Type 2 Diabetes have mostly been conducted on populations of European ancestry, the release said.

Giriraj R Chandak highlighted the study as a landmark event where scientists from different parts of the world put together their minds to understand similarities and differences in genetic susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes in different populations.

His group had earlier provided evidence of greater genetic heterogeneity in Indians compared to Europeans, which compromises our ability to predict Type 2 Diabetes risk in the Indian populations using European data, the release said.

This recent study compared genomic DNA of 1.8 lakh people with Type 2 Diabetes against 11.6 lakh normal subjects from five ancestries – Europeans, East Asians, South Asians, Africans and Hispanics, and identified large number of genetic differences (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs) between patients and the normal subjects, it said.

“This study sets up the stage for further investigating South Asian population for genetic susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes and extend the journey on the path of precision medicine,” said Vinay Nandicoori, Director of CCMB.

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