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September 2016

Disentangling the Causal Association of Plasma Lipid Traits and Type 2 Diabetes Using Human Genetics

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Departments of Medicine and Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 3Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 4Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Cardiol. 2016;1(6):631-633. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.2298

Numerous prospective studies have demonstrated that reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and elevated triglyceride (TG) levels, but not low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (LDL-C),1-4 are independent risk factors that are associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, causal evaluation based on these studies is limited owing to the potential for unmeasured confounding and reverse causality. Hence, the relevance of each of these lipoprotein fractions in association with T2D is actively debated.