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Medical News & Perspectives
March 1, 2006

Gene Variant Confers Risk of Diabetes

JAMA. 2006;295(9):987-988. doi:10.1001/jama.295.9.987

While type 2 diabetes is on the rise due to poor diet and lifestyle choices, genetics play a significant role in many cases. Now researchers from Iceland have identified a variant in a gene that is the most significant genetic risk factor for type 2 diabetes found to date (Grant SF et al. Nat Genet. doi:10.1038/ng1732 [published online ahead of print January 15, 2006]).

The investigators estimated that the population-attributable risk of this variant is 21%. “That means that if you removed this one single variant from the population, you would get rid of 21% of all type 2 diabetes in society,” said principal investigator Kári Stefánsson, MD, cofounder of deCODE genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Reykjavik, Iceland.